MASON CITY, Iowa – A recent Facebook message on our KIMT page caught our attention. It was from the daughter of a woman who was killed last week in a Mason City house fire.
She thanked the community for their support, and said in part: “Please, please everyone take a minute and check your smoke detectors, if you can’t reach them, call your fire department, and they will be happy to come check them for you.
“We’ve told people before, we tell the kids, they’re like your nose at night. Studies show that they’ll wake you up, when your sense of smell will not. Its really an essential that you have smoke detectors in your home,” said Chief Bob Platts from the Mason City Fire Department.
Platts is referring to the importance of having working smoke detectors in your home. He’s says he has seen, too many times, what can happen when smoke detectors are not working, or have been removed.
In the case of the deadly Mason City fire on August 27th, the smoke detectors in the house were not in working order. One didn’t have batteries, and the other was removed from the wall. The chief believes the deaths could have been prevented, if those detectors had been in working order.
“I think it would have given the people the opportunity to wake up prior to. With the locations of the people, I think it probably could have helped them, yes.”
Platts, and family members of the victims, hope others will learn from this tragedy to keep something similar from happening again.
Platts says more than 10 people from his staff and EMS departments were on the scene of that fire. He says, while many may have thought the scene was chaotic, he feels law enforcement and the fire department worked well together.