By Timothy Page
Two recent incidents in Burlington highlight the vital role that properly functioning smoke detectors play in preventing fires and saving lives. On November 15, 2023, at 4:17 p.m., the Burlington Fire Department swiftly responded to a structure fire at 60 Avenue B in Burlington’s New North End, thanks to a vigilant neighbor who promptly reported the smoke. The Community Response Team (CRT) was already in the area and quickly arrived at 4:19 p.m., followed closely by the first suppression unit at 4:20 p.m. The CRT confirmed the building address and efficiently communicated initial assignments to the fire units. Deploying hose lines, the responders discovered fire around and below the water heater. Additional fire units secured a water supply from a nearby hydrant on North Avenue, providing crucial assistance in extinguishing the fire and conducting necessary overhaul operations.
Fortunately, despite the intensity of the smoke, a female occupant inside the building at the time of the incident was transported from the scene in stable condition. While no acute injuries were reported, the smoke condition warranted evaluation at the hospital as a precaution. Additionally, three pets were successfully rescued and evacuated from the building, thanks to the swift actions of the responders. The Red Cross has been notified and will be providing necessary assistance to the affected resident during this challenging time. The Burlington Fire Marshal’s office conducted a thorough investigation, revealing evidence of failed heat tape under the home as a contributing factor to the fire.
Expressing gratitude, the Burlington Fire Department extends its appreciation to the Burlington Police Department for their prompt response and to the residents of the North Avenue Co-Op for their exceptional support shown to their neighbor in need.
In a separate incident on November 12th at 4:17 a.m., the Burlington Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at 184 Prospect Parkway. Upon arrival, members of the fire department were met by two occupants who had already exited the building. These individuals credited their survival to the activation of two smoke alarms that woke them up in time. While exiting the house, they discovered a fire in a trash can within the office area and swiftly used an ABC fire extinguisher to successfully suppress the flames. To ensure the fire was fully extinguished, they utilized a total of three fire extinguishers. The fire department verified that the fire had indeed been extinguished. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Burlington Fire Marshal’s Office.
These incidents serve as stark reminders of the importance of regularly maintaining and testing smoke detectors in our homes. The Burlington Fire Department urges everyone to diligently check their smoke detectors and ensure that the batteries are replaced as needed. To address any questions related to these incidents or to receive guidance on the proper use of smoke detectors, concerned individuals can contact the Burlington Fire Marshal’s Office at (802) 864-5577. By taking proactive measures and ensuring the functionality of smoke detectors, we can collectively prevent potential fire disasters, safeguarding lives and property. The timely response of both the fire department and community members, as witnessed in these incidents, demonstrates the critical role we all play in creating a safer environment for everyone.