Apartment Fire Shows Value of Smoke Detectors
From Montgomery County Fire Marshal Jimmy Williams:
Just before 9 PM Thursday night, fire broke out in the Waverly Village Apartments in New Waverly. The disabled resident in apartment 102 told firefighters she awoke to the sound of her smoke detector going off. She saw smoke coming out of a closet and discovered a rapidly developing fire. She immediately evacuated the apartment and began alerting other residents.
New Waverly Firefighters received the first call at 8:42 and the first New Waverly Engine arrived at 8:44 to find fire rolling out the back of the apartment and spreading into the attic. Firefighters entered the apartment and contained the fire before it could spread to adjacent units. Although the fire was quickly contained, heat and smoke damage rendered the apartment uninhabitable. Much of the residents belongings and personal property were damaged or destroyed.
Firefighters from Huntsville and North Montgomery County responded to assist with clean up and relieve the initial New Waverly crews. Management at the complex relocated the resident to a nearby vacant apartment. Family members contacted the resident’s caregivers and the American Red Cross for additional emergency assistance and replacement medications
Fire Investigators from the New Waverly VFD conducted an investigation and determined that the fire originated in the home’s electrical breaker box, igniting bedding and winter clothes stored in the closet. The apartments were built over 30 years ago and are not equipped with fire sprinklers as required in all modern apartment complexes. Each of the apartments are equipped with smoke detectors.
Under State Law, it is the responsibility of the landlord to provide working smoke detectors in every bedroom, sleeping area and corridors or hallways. It is the residents responsibility to replace the batteries. If your rental property does not have smoke detectors in the hallways and every bedroom, or you suspect that they don’t work, notify your landlord in writing of the problem. Your landlord then has 7 days under State Law to respond and take care of the problem.
For more information contact your local fire station or click on this link