Smoke detector saved Southampton family from morning fire

  • The house at 63 Gunn Road in Southampton where firefighters responded to a chimney fire on Wed., Dec. 6, 2017. The fire caused an estimated $25,000 in damage and no one was injured.  Gazette/DUSTY CHRISTENSEN

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

SOUTHAMPTON — A chimney fire caused substantial damage to a house on Gunn Road early Wednesday morning, though nobody was injured.

Southampton firefighters responded to a call from 63 Gunn Road at 7:19 a.m., according to Fire Chief John Workman, who estimated that the fire left the house with around $25,000 worth of damage.

“Have smoke detectors!” said property owner Ken Piper, whose family has lived in the house since 1977. “Ours went off and at that point I grabbed the phone and called 911, and the response was unbelievable.”

Piper praised local fire departments who came quickly to the scene, as well as the American Red Cross, which is providing the family with recovery assistance such as lodging, clothing and food.

The Red Cross’s Don Cawrse, who was on the scene Wednesday, encouraged people to call their local fire departments, which work with the Red Cross to provide homes with free smoke detectors.

Speaking generally, Workman said it is important for people during wintertime to make sure that their wood-burning stoves are cleaned and maintained as needed.

“It’s tough being Christmas time, but thank God that we have a wonderful fire department,” Piper said. “When it comes down to it, they are lifesavers.”

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.