The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 15, 2013

Denmark family saved by smoke detector

Star Beacon

DENMARK TOWNSHIP — The piercing sound of an active smoke detector likely saved the lives of three people early Monday morning at 1582 Brown Road.

“That’s what saved us,” said Charles Kidd while shuffling through the burned out one-story home he shared with his wife Vicky.

Once awake Kidd said he ran from the bedroom to the living room and grabbed his granddaughter Bella Wyatt, 4, from the couch and ran outside before trying to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher.

It was too late.

“The fire was in the walls,” Kidd said. He said it quickly moved to the roof.

Kidd said the family will stay in a camper on the property and he believes the structure is covered through his home loan but not the contents.

Pierpont Fire Chief Randy Woodard said the call came in at 3:25 a.m. “The house was a total loss. They lost everything,” he said.

Woodard said the cause of the fire was a portable heater that became overheated starting the fire which quickly spread to the back wall of the home.

“Thank God for smoke detectors,” said Kidd’s son Christopher while helping his father sort through the debris that included a gun collection.

Christopher Kidd said he arrived on scene around 6 a.m. to find the destroyed home. “It made me sick when I pulled in the driveway,” he said.

Woodard said the firefighters from Pierpont, Dorset, Jefferson and Plymouth responded to the call. He said Pierpont firefighters were on the scene until 6:30 a.m.

“We had plenty of water. We got it from the airport (fire hydrant),” Woodard said.

As Charles and Christopher Kidd sorted through clothes and other belongings friends and family were on the scene helping the family in their time of need.

“We have a lot of support,” Charles Kidd said.