Detectors key to safe evacuation

By Karen Zautyk

Observer Correspondent


Working smoke alarms were credited with helping to save the lives of the five residents of a Davis Ave. home during a middle-of-the-night fire last week, Kearny fire officials reported.

KFD Chief Steve Dyl said the blaze broke out on the second floor of the two-family residence at 241 Davis at about 2:45 a.m. Tuesday, July 9.

“Smoke-detection devices alerted all the occupants and all were evacuated from the premises,” Dyl said.

The chief said the fire, which had started in the second-floor living room of the three-story wood-frame building, was brought under control within 20 minutes.

The Division of Fire Safety is investigating, but Dyl said the cause appeared to be electrical.

There was moderate fire damage to the living room, but smoke damage throughout the second story, he said.

The residents who were temporarily displaced reportedly took shelter with neighbors.

One of the occupants was treated at the scene by paramedics for smoke inhalation. A KFD captain suffered a neck injury and was treated and released from Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville.

Deputy Chief Joe Viscuso was the tour commander in charge at the scene. A precautionary second alarm was called in, and Harrison firefighters responded. The Jersey City and North Arlington fire departments provided backup coverage to Kearny.

Dyl said the fire, and the safe evacuation of the residents, was a reminder of the importance of having working smoke alarms in one’s home. “Make sure they are working,” he advised. “Check the batteries” on a regular basis, he said

Early detection of the Davis Ave. blaze and the resultant quick notificiation to the Fire Department helped keep the damage to a minimum, the chief noted.

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