BRIGHTON — Just after midnight on Sunday, Ronald Horton of Brighton was awoken to the sound of his smoke detector going off. He looked up and saw a portion of his trailer had just caught fire.
Horton managed to wake the children, ages 1, 5, and 6, and remove them from the house before the building became fully engulfed in flames.
Just days before, Brighton Assistant Fire Chief Walt Driscoll had contacted authorities with concerns for the welfare of the children residing in this house.
Driscoll had learned the unit was not equipped with working smoke detectors. He had also learned there had been some electrical issue that involved flickering lights.
Concerned for the welfare of the children, he decided to contact DCF.
Investigators from DCF, along with Investigator Tim Angell from the Division of Fire Safety, conducted an inspection of the home.
Investigator Angell discovered there were no working smoke or CO detectors within the house. He also documented several other areas of concern pertaining to power in the house.
Angell informed the homeowners they needed to install working smoke and CO detectors and make arrangements for an electrician to inspect the house. He requested that the owners provide photographic proof to him once the detectors had been installed.
Thankfully, this installation had been completed, and following Sunday’s fire Driscoll and Angell are both being commended for their quick actions.
“It is clear in this case had the Brighton Assistant Fire Chief not reached out to vocalize his concerns regarding the welfare of these children, the outcome could have been much worse,” said Detective Sergeant Larry Smith.
After requesting an origin and cause investigation be conducted for Sunday’s fire, authorities say these recently installed detectors going off ultimately resulted in the saving of four lives.
The fire was blamed on electrical problems.
“These individuals should be commended for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to public safety,” Smith went on to say.