MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon Fire Department crews were called out early this morning to 107 Prospect St. for a house fire which damaged the kitchen of one of the units.
Calling the occupant of the duplex unit where the fire started “extremely lucky,” MVFD Capt. David Mills pointed out the home did not have working smoke detectors.
“If he’d been upstairs asleep in his bedroom, he would have been trapped because of the lack of smoke detectors on each floor,” said Mills.
The resident, James Stone, had fallen asleep on the couch, according to Mills. He woke up to find the home filled with smoke. He made his way outside and called 9-1-1 around 3 a.m.
“He just happened to wake up and he did the right thing by leaving right away and calling us instead of trying to put it out himself,” said Mills.
There was one smoke detector in the home, but it did not have a battery, according to Mills.
“We really urge people to have smoke detectors on all floors, including the basement,” he said. “They need to have fresh batteries changed twice a year.”
The duplex is owned by Carolyn Hart of Danville. Stone is now staying with friends. Mills said the other unit in the building was not damaged, and the resident of that unit did not need to relocate following the fire.
Crews were on scene for an hour. According to MVFD Assistant Chief Chris Menapace, the fire is suspected to have been electrical in its origin, and caused damage only to the kitchen of the home. The damage was estimated by Mills to be around $7,000 to $10,000.
“They got it knocked down pretty quickly,” Menapace said of the two engine companies and one medic crew who responded to the fire.