A home in Lakewood, New Jersey, caught fire earlier this week when lightning hit its roof in the early morning hours. According to Jersey Shore Online, the resident was alerted to the smoke alarm sound around 4:30 a.m., assumed it went off in error and did not immediately call the authorities. When the alarm went off again later that morning around 9 a.m., the resident started to smell smoke and decided to call the Lakewood Fire Department. Firefighters arriving on the scene quickly discovered a fire in the attic that started as a result of the early morning lighting strike. They were able to confine and extinguish the flames before they spread throughout the house.
“Had it not been for the quick and decisive actions of the responding firefighters, the home could have rapidly become engulfed in flames,” said Fire Chief Mike D’Elia in a statement. “Residents should never hesitate or delay calling 911 to request the Fire Department any time their smoke [alarm] or carbon monoxide alarm sounds.”
NFPA’s Escape Planning tip sheet suggests the following advice be heeded if the smoke alarm sounds:
- Get out and stay out. Never go back inside for people or pets.
- If you have to escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out.
- Call the fire department from outside the home.
In addition, this year’s Fire Prevention Week website is chock full of educational material on the topic of escape planning.