A major tragedy was averted in Dunkirk early Tuesday. It was not because of the fire department, which deserves praise for containing and dousing the blaze, but the readiness of those living in the structure.
At 5:50 a.m., a call for a fully involved building came to emergency officials. When they arrived on the scene, those firefighters were unsure if occupants were still in the building.
Fortunately, all those living at 184 King St. had escaped. City fire chief Keith Ahlstrom praised those who lived there for having detectors that were in working condition.
"The biggest thing is, and this fire is an example, we had the possibility of a very poor outcome," he said. "The smoke detectors in the house were functioning so somebody obviously had been taking care of them and had changed the batteries on them. They did wake these people up at a time when everybody is normally sleeping. So, if anything, make sure your smoke detector is working. Test it, make sure that it's working."
And while we've heard it all before, here is one instance where it paid off. Five people are alive because of a smoke detector.
It really is a minor miracle.