Early detection by smoke alarm helped firefighters stop fire in downtown business

Bags of oily rags were smoldering
Early detection by smoke alarm helped firefighters stop fire in downtown business
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Firefighters stopped a fire from breaking out in a downtown business at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, in part because of early detection by a smoke alarm.

According to a release, a resident in the 300 block of North Randall Street woke up at 4:30 a.m. to the sound of an alarm and found the common area “very smoky.” The resident called 911.

Medic 4 and Engine Co. 1 arrived to find a haze of smoke in the building. Ladder Co. 1 accessed a downstairs business, finding two bags of oily rags. One of the bags was smoldering on the floor.

Firefighters cooled the bag with a water can and then took the rags outside, the release said. Crews ventilated the building to clear the smoke and tenants were allowed to return inside, according to the release.

The release said the smoke detector’s early warning prevented the smoldering rags from igniting a fire, which could have caused significant damage and put lives at risk.

The release reminds people to dispose of oily rags properly so they don’t start a fire. It says that, if you have oily rags, never leave them in a pile, and dispose of dried rags in a metal container.

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