Chief credits smoke detectors for keeping residents safe

City of Burlington Fire Chief Alan Babe is crediting smoke detectors for keeping seven people safe after a fire broke out in their home Wednesday morning.

“As a result of working smoke detectors in the home, all seven occupants were alerted to the incident,” fire officials said in a news release issued Thursday. “This in turn allowed all residents to safely evacuate the structure and quickly notify fire, EMS, and police of the emergency.”

Emergency crews were summoned to the home at 173 W. State St. at 5:45 a.m. and initially reported light smoke at the building’s exterior. All of the people who were in the home had evacuated by the time firefighters arrived, according to officials.

Firefighters entered the home and encountered moderate smoke and heat on the second floor and heavy smoke and heat in the attic, the release said. The flames reportedly reached the attic through a void in one of the home’s walls.

The city department requested mutual aid from surrounding agencies “due to the laborious nature of suppression and overhaul work involved,” according to the release.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Racine County Fire Investigation Task Force.

Other agencies assisting city responders included Town of Burlington Fire Department, Lake Geneva Fire Department, Kansasville Fire Department, Bristol Fire and Rescue, Wheatland Fire Department, Waterford Fire Department, Lyons Fire Department, Burlington Rescue, Medix Ambulance, Paratech Ambulance and Racine Fire Bells.

Babe took the opportunity to remind area residents to make sure their home’s smoke detectors are working.

“You need a working smoke alarm on every level of the home, including the basement,” the release said. “Interconnected smoke alarms provide the best protection because when one sounds, they all sound.

“Remember, a smoke detector with a dead or missing battery is the same as having no smoke alarm at all. Resolve to test all of your smoke alarms to make sure that they are working.”

Fire officials also advised property owners to replace smoke detectors if they are more than 10 years old or they don’t make a sound when tested.