The Right Response
NeighborÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s system stops fatal disaster
BROOKLINE, Mass. - When a fire broke out in a Victorian townhouse here, it was not that homeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s newly installed security and fire alarm system that alerted homeowners a fire was in progress in the attic, but a neighborÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s security system that told authorities about the blaze.
The neighborÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s system, installed by Arlington, Mass.-based American Alarm and Communications, sent a signal to the companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s central station when heat from the fire radiated through a brick firewall between the townhouses. The central station then called both the local fire department and its customer.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our neighbors ran out of their house and saw the fire coming from my roof,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Doreen Nicastro. Ã¢â‚¬Å“They rang our bell and banged on the door and got us up.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Nicastro-Reznikow family recently installed a new security system in their home, including a fire panic button, but it did not sound when a fire broke out in the attic. The only smoke detector in the townhouse was located on the first floor, several floors away from the fire, while their neighborÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s home had smoke detectors and heat sensors on each level.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Little did we know that the system wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t up to code,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Nicastro.
The fire caused $1 million in damages to the Victorian townhouse. Despite the intensity of the blaze, Nicastro, her husband Jesse Reznikow, son Alex and 94-year-old mother-in-law escaped safely.