Smoke Alarm Donated by Texas Coalition Alerts Disabled Homeowner

November 16, 2006

A 62 year old Waco, Texas, resident can thank a donated smoke alarm for possibly saving her life and her home recently. Madeline Goff, who is assisted by a walker, was alerted by smoke alarms that she had a potential fire in her home on the evening of October 23. She called firefighters who tracked the smoke to a smoldering towel that had been placed near the flame of the home’s hot water heater.

Waco firefighters quickly removed the towel before any damage to the house occurred. Waco Fire Marshal Jerry Hawk said the woman would have been in extreme danger had firefighters not arrived when they did.

“She was not able to get out of the house on her own,” Hawk said. “The smoke alarm did its job.”

Goff had heard about the smoke alarm campaign through flyers handed out by the city’s Meals on Wheels program. Upon her request, Waco firefighters installed two smoke alarms in Goff’s home earlier this year and offered her fire safety tips.

The Waco Fire Department received approximately 1,000 of the smoke alarms through the “We’re Out to Alarm Texas” smoke alarm campaign. In its first year the campaign, sponsored by the Insurance Council of Texas, Insurors of Texas in Waco and First Alert, donated 2,350 smoke alarms to fire departments in Waco, New Braunfels and Lockhart. The cities were chosen by the State Fire Marshal’s Office because of their high fire fatality count among seniors.

Goff said she was very lucky. “I am very thankful and really appreciate the smoke detectors and I credit them with saving my house and myself,” Goff said. “I never dreamed I would be in this type of situation. It is a wonderful thing you do.”

In September, the “We’re Out to Alarm Texas” campaign donated a combination smoke and fire alarm to fire departments in Farmers Branch, Mansfield, Galveston and El Paso, which have already begun to distribute them.

Source: Insurance Council of Texas

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