Fire in the Baby's Room
Lifesaving Service Saves a Family from Tragedy
It was a cold March day in Owasco, New York but Lynn Smith’s heart was warm with love. Like most grandparents, there is nothing more special than spending time with her grandchildren.
Her daughter Kelly came up for the weekend from New York City with her girls, Olivia, four, and baby Mila, 10 months. Lynn’s son, Stephen, who lives nearby, came with his three girls. It was a packed house.
Lynn turned on the portable heater in the back bedroom where baby Mila would sleep since it was so cold outside. Everyone went to bed exhausted after a long day of driving and playing.
At 2:00 a.m. Kelly woke up to baby Mila crying. She went into the back bedroom, scooped up Mila, and brought her into bed. Both fell back to sleep.
At 5:30 a.m. Lynn was half awake when she heard the hallway smoke detector. She initially thought the battery was low but at the same time the ADT smoke alarm was going off. It got louder and louder.
Lynn jumped out of bed and ran to the room with the portable heater. There was a chemical smell in the air. Lynn’s daughter Kelly woke up too. At first she wasn’t worried but then her mom came bursting into the bedroom.
Kelly ran into the room where baby Mila had been sleeping and saw the portable heater was on fire. The flames were already a foot high.
Kelly had Mila in her arms and ran into the room where her daughter Olivia was sleeping. She woke up Olivia, grabbed her hand, and made it out of the front door. Kelly’s eyes were stinging from the smoke but the family was out of the house safely.
Nearly 800 miles away, ADT Dispatcher Amanda Willoughby started her 4 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. shift at ADT’s Knoxville, TN monitoring center. Her job requires her to be calm and ready to assist customers should a monitor go off.
At approximately 5:30 a.m. she received an alarm notification from the ADT system at the home of Lynn Smith. She immediately contacted the fire department to report an emergency.
At the same time Kelly was calling 911 to report the fire, Lynn received an incoming call.
“This is Amanda with ADT security. Is everything okay there?”
Amanda asked if everybody was out of the house and informed Lynn the fire department would arrive shortly. Within minutes, Owasco Fire Department trucks and ambulances were on scene. Thanks to the quick response, the fire only had time to scorch the bedroom carpet and blacken the walls in half the house.
“We could have slept through it. The smoke could have killed us,” shared Lynn.
State Farm Agent Ray Haynes was also thankful too. As an insurance agent, he knows how devastating a fire can be for a homeowner and was very relieved his customer Lynn and her family were safe.
On April 22, 2016, six weeks after the fire, ADT held an event at Smith's home. ADT presented the company's highest honor, the LifeSaver Award, to Willoughby and the technicians who installed the home's alarm system. The company flew Willoughby in from Knoxville, TN so she could not only accept the award, but also meet Lynn Smith personally.
ADT and State Farm representatives presented $10,000 to the Owasco Fire Department for its efforts that day. Fire Chief Chris Morabito said the grant will fund the purchase of an air compressor to fill firefighters' bottles before they enter dangerous environments like the one at the Smith home.
"Every two and a half hours, someone in America dies in a house fire," Morabito said at the event. "Smoke detectors are a definite need in every house. If you can hook it up to a center like ADT that makes it even better because you know you're getting somebody to call you back and make sure everything is good."
To learn more about an ADT special offer for State Farm customers, visit the ADT Home Security website or State Farm Home Protection & Automation. Homeowners and renters may qualify for the Home Alert Protection Discount. Contact your State Farm agent for details.
Check out the ADT blog about Lynn’s story.