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Reader grateful for fire safety information

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On Jan. 24, there was a fire in my house at 1509 Dana Way in Roseville. My 9-year-old daughter, her girlfriend and my wife Tinna were asleep upstairs when it all happened. I was out of town in Boulder City Nev. when the fire began. It started when a box of backpacks we were going to give to Loaves and Fishes had been moved in front of our insert fireplace during the day. In the middle of the night when the temperature of the living room got cold the fireplace came on and eventually started the backpacks on fire. What is so amazing is that my daughter, who attends Merryhill School, came home in September with a checklist for Fire Safety Week. The questions asked about smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and escape plans. As we went over the list I was embarrassed that I could not answer yes to the smoke detectors, I did have a fire extinguisher so I took it from under the kitchen sink and trained my wife and daughter how to use it. Next I went about replacing my alarm system and added a supervised wireless smoke detector in every room. The night of the fire the smoke detectors went off and woke up my wife. She came downstairs, saw the fire and immediately went to the kitchen and grabbed the fire extinguisher and put the fire out. Smoke filled the house, but she was able to get the girls, call 911 and run outside. When the fire department arrived they made sure that the fire was out. If Merryhill School had not sent home the Fire Safety worksheet, my wife, daughter and her friend would have most likely been unaware of the fire until it was too late. The only thing that would have woken them would have been heat or smoke. I am very grateful to the staff at Merryhill School for saving my family’s life. My hope is that other parents will read this and make sure their smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are working. Kolin Morlatt, Roseville