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The Telegram
  • Smoke detector saves lives of Herkimer fire victims

  • During the early hours of Wednesday morning a fire broke out at 112 George St.

    The Herkimer Fire Department received the call at 3:29 a.m. and upon arrival at 3:32 a.m. firefighters found the two-family, two-story wooden frame house full of heavy, black smoke.

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  • During the early hours of Wednesday morning a fire broke out at 112 George St.
    The Herkimer Fire Department received the call at 3:29 a.m. and upon arrival at 3:32 a.m. firefighters found the two-family, two-story wooden frame house full of heavy, black smoke.
    Deputy Chief Jim Woodrick said an all-call was made to off-duty firefighters due to the need for manpower. The Ilion Fire Department was also called to the scene to provide additional manpower and a pumper, he said. MOVAC was on the scene as well.
    All tenants, one from the upstairs apartment and a family of three from the downstairs apartment, made it safely outside before responders arrived on scene.
    Woodrick said a smoke detector saved the tenants by waking up the downstairs family.
    “If it wasn’t for the smoke detector the tenants could have been killed by the smoke, but since they had a working smoke detector they were able to get out before the smoke got too heavy,” he said.
    “This is why we really push people to test fire detectors. If the detectors aren’t working they cannot save lives. It’s important to always make sure there are fresh batteries in the alarm and that it is working properly,” Woodrick added.
    While battling the blaze, firefighters had to go inside to rescue several pets.
    Three dogs were found upstairs and brought outside to safety. One dog was found downstairs and had trouble breathing. The dog was rescued, given oxygen and began to breath normally again.
    Herkimer Veterinary Associates were contacted and Dr. Harold Fisher treated the dog.
    Three birds were lost to the fire and two cats are missing, but Woodrick said it is possible the cats could have made it out of the house.
    Woodrick said the fire started in the basement of the house and worked its way up to the first floor through the cold air vent. The house was determined salvageable, but sustained smoke and water damage on the first floor and smoke damage on the second floor, he said.
    Authorities determined the cause of the fire to be electrical.
    The American Red Cross was contacted to assist the four displaced tenants.

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