Asbury girl a hero

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 Messenger photo by Linda Dillman
 Asbury Elementary fourth grader Carley Grow was a lifesaver the night of Feb. 12 when she alerted her family of five, and their dog Winchester, to the sight and smell of a fire at their Fullerton Drive home. Grow received a Smoke DOG award from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and a certificate from the Madison Township Fire Department during a ceremony on March 19.

Asbury Elementary fourth grader Carley Grow, 10, was recognized by the Madison Township Fire Department and representatives from the State Fire Marshal’s Office for alerting her family to a fire at their home on Fullerton Drive and saving their lives on Feb. 12.

Carley and her mother, Tabatha Grow, received the Smoke Detector on Guard Award (Smoke DOG) and a certificate from the Ohio Department of Commerce and the local department. Firefighters said the activation of a smoke detector provided the additional time the Grow family needed to escape the fire. Reports indicated the outcome might have been tragic had the family not had a working smoke detector.

"This is a celebration of life," said Mitzi Hudec, a chief with the State Fire Marshal’s Fire Prevention Bureau. "They (the Grow family) had working smoke detectors in the home. In Ohio, we’ve had over 40 fire fatalities, but only three of those homes had working smoke detectors. It’s not just fire that kills you. It’s the smoke. The heat of the smoke alone can kill you. You have to have early warning and two ways out."

Carley Grow said she was sleeping on a downstairs couch and awoke around 3 a.m. to the smell and sight of smoke. She said she went to her mother’s room to wake her and get five family members and their dog, Winchester, out of the house and to a safe place outside.

"The Smoke DOG Award recognizes families like the Grows who have saved their lives and the lives of others by responding to the warning sound of a smoke detector," said State Fire Marshal Michael P. Bell. "It is important to have working smoke detectors. Much like a guard dog, a smoke detector stands watch over the home both day and night. The facts speak clearly: working smoke detectors save lives and also double individuals’ chances of escaping a nighttime fire. I encourage all Ohioans to make sure their smoke detectors are properly placed, regularly tested, and maintained. By taking the time to test them monthly, you might save your life, the lives of your family members, and your property if a fire ever breaks out in your home."

Residents on a fixed income and senior citizens living in the Madison Township area can contact the Fire Department at 614-837-7883 for information on how to get a free smoke detector installed by the department at no charge.

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