Sparkie prevents fire

He finished installing a smoke alarm when another helped him beat a fire – and save a life.

Josh is a Sparky electrician Anthony receives a thank you gift from Therese, on behalf of ŌCHT.

Josh is a Sparky electrician Anthony receives a thank you gift from Therese, on behalf of ŌCHT.

Anthony banged loudly on the unit’s front door as the smoke alarm beeped loudly inside.

Through the window, he could see the smoke building and dropping from the ceiling into the room.

He could also see the unit’s occupant, slowly stirring to action through the acrid grey haze.

Anthony knocked again. The occupant rose from the couch and turned off the stove.

The alarm was still ringing when she opened the door and let the electrician inside.

Anthony checked the kitchen for signs of fire and turned the smoke alarm off.

“She said she was okay, but I was nearly choking on the smoke, it was that bad.

“It smelled like it couldn’t have been too far off combusting. She was lucky.”

The occupant was also lucky Anthony was at the ŌCHT complex that she called home.

The Josh is a Sparky Ltd electrician was replacing a smoke alarm in a home in a nearby block of units.

He’d finished the job and was leaving the block when he heard the familiar sound of a smoke alarm.

He checked on the units in the block in which he was working. The sound was traveling.

Anthony wasted no time getting across the property to find the source of the 85dB alarm.

He knocked on the door to rouse the occupant. Once inside, he took the pot off the still-hot stove.

The occupant was unharmed and did not need medical attention. The property was not damaged.

Anthony says he must’ve knocked on doors thousands of times in his work at ŌCHT properties.

“All those times, and this time it might’ve stopped a fire or saved a life,” he says.

ŌCHT maintenance advisor Therese thanked Anthony for his quick actions.

“He was in the right place at the right time, and he responded quickly and professionally.

“The occupant was lucky Anthony was there, and we’re really fortunate to work with people like Anthony and the Josh is a Sparky team.”

Anthony was is back at work checking and installing smoke alarms at ŌCHT properties.

He reminds tenants the alarms are the difference between safety and harm.

“I’d advise people to look after their alarms, keep them clean and dusted, run a vacuum around them every now and then, and test them when daylight savings changes.”

He also suggests people pay attention to what the alarm sounds like when its tested.

After all, responding to that sound might help save a life.

Published July 8, 2021

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The Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust
61 Kilmore St,

Hours: 8.30 am-5.00 pm, Monday-Friday.

Postal: PO Box 53, Christchurch 8140

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