December 10, 2009 9:45:00 AM
Fire officials in Starkville are urging residents to check their smoke detectors this winter following two blazes in area homes over the past week.
The most recent incident was reported to Oktibbeha County E-911 around 9 a.m. Tuesday from Azalea Lane, where an electrical fire began behind a wall and the elderly resident''s smoke detector had dead batteries.
"Luckily she happened to be home at the time of the fire and smelled the smoke before the fire got big and she was able to call 911," Fire Marshal Mark McCurdy said. He did not release the woman''s address on Azalea Lane.
The fire started inside a living room wall due to a faulty wire connected to an electrical outlet, McCurdy said. Firefighters had to cut out a roughly 3-by-3-foot section of wall to gain access to the blaze.
The fire was extinguished quickly and the home received minor smoke damage, he said. The resident, whom McCurdy did not identify, was not injured.
Firefighters also responded to a fire late last week on Kenswick Court in the Huntington Park subdivision. The blaze last week was larger than the one Tuesday on Azalea Lane, but no injuries were reported, McCurdy said. It is unclear if the home that caught fire last week had working smoke detectors because nobody was home at the time of the blaze, he said.
The winter months are a busy time for firefighters, McCurdy said, so he is urging local residents to check their smoke detectors and their batteries to make sure they are working. Residents who don''t have a working smoke detector can pick one up for free at Fire Station 1, located at 503 E. Lampkin St.
"All anybody has to do is come to First Station 1 and ask for one of the two fire marshals," McCurdy said. Stan McMullen is the other fire marshal. "We give them out for free. It doesn''t cost anything."
1. Columbus police chief McQueen retires COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. Columbus School board won't go 'buy the book' COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. Settlement brings new hope for Kerr-McGee cleanup COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Columbus L&W eyes new 5-year plan COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY