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People

July 23, 2013

Installation of free smoke detector stops fire on Centerville Square

The Centerville Fire Department wants to remind the community about the free smoke detector program available to anyone within the department’s coverage area and also the surrounding local area. The program, which began about three years ago, gives out free smoke detectors and also checks smoke detector batteries free of charge.

The program receives smoke detectors from the state fire marshall each year. They also purchase more detectors with donations to the department. The Centerville Fire Department received about 150 smoke detectors this year to give away.

To highlight the benefits of the program, Centerville Fire Chief, Mike Bogle, shared a story of how a free smoke detector installed by the department helped avert what could have been a major disaster.

According to Bogle, on Wednesday, May 15 at approximately 11:35 p.m. Centerville Fire was dispatched to 115 1/2 W. Van Buren St. in Centerville for a report of smoke coming from an apartment.

The apartment is located on the northwest side of the Centerville Square and is one of four apartments that sit on the second floor above J&K Market and an insurance agency. This building sits in the middle of the block connected to several other buildings, all occupied by either retail, office or residential.

“Our city square is the lifeblood of our community and had this fire gone undetected it could have been devastating to the local economy,” said Bogle.

Centerville Police Department officers arrived first and made entry into the apartment and encountered heavy smoke. There was one occupant, who they were able to remove safely. The source of the smoke was discovered to be food on the stove.

Centerville Fire Department arrived on scene and confirmed that the fire was out and used positive pressure ventilation to remove the smoke from the apartment and hallway leading to the apartment. The occupant was unhurt.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about building code compliance. One Centerville resident at Monday's City Council meeting proposed the city create two new positions in the police department to only deal with minimum housing and nuisance abatement issues. The city currently has George Johnson as the only employee assigned to enforce building code compliance issues. Does Centerville need more than just Johnson to enforce code compliance issues? So, the question of the week is, "Should Centerville hire additional help to assist George Johnson enforce building code compliance issues?"

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