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Local business presents donation to Reno Fire Department to purchase smoke alarms for families in need

Post Date:12/30/2017 11:01 AM

Jeff Knudtzon, owner of Dryer Vent Wizard, will be presenting the Reno Fire Department with a $500 check for the purchase of 100 smoke alarms for families in need following a recent fire that claimed the lives of two people.   

“In a fire, seconds count”, says Fire Marshal Tray Palmer. “Seconds can mean the difference between residents escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy. The recent double fatality fire our community experienced earlier this month is a sad reminder of that fact.”

In the early morning hours of December 14th the Reno Fire Department responded to a fully engulfed apartment at 1301 Stardust Street. Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in one of the bedrooms of the 3rd floor apartment. The exact cause is still under investigation but the Reno Fire Department has not been able to rule out various accidental heat sources, including a space heater and discarded cigarettes. The room of fire origin did not have a working fire alarm.

The fire claimed the lives of one male adult, one female adult, and a pet. The victims were identified as 58 year old Cathy Castodio and 42 year old Paul Therein. The National Fire Protection Association reports that in 2015 home fires resulted in 2,560 civilian deaths.

The Reno Fire Department would like to remind everyone to always make sure you have a working smoke alarm in every sleeping room and every hallway outside the sleeping room. Test the alarm and check batteries regularly, and have an escape plan if they go off.

Half of all home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. When using portable heaters please follow these safety tips:

  • Keep all combustibles at least three feet from heating equipment.
  • Portable electric heaters should be UL listed and plugged directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord on a heater.
  • Never use portable fuel burning heaters (like a kerosene heater) inside.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

 If you smoke please follow these safety tips:

  • Smoke outside. Most deaths result from fires that started in living rooms, family rooms or in bedrooms.
  • Never smoke in bed or around medical oxygen.
  • Keep cigarettes, lighters, matches, and other smoking materials up high out of the reach of children, in a locked cabinet.
  • Use a deep, sturdy non-combustible ashtray. Place it away from anything that can burn. 
  • Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants, or in plastic containers.
  • Before you throw away butts and ashes, make sure they are out, and dousing in water or sand is the best way to do that.

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