FIRE PREVENTION Safety checks pay off

Apartment owners are urged to have annual inspections.
BOARDMAN -- Fire prevention officials say four apartment fires in the past two months with no serious injuries and limited damage emphasize the importance of yearly fire safety inspections.
Each of the apartment buildings had recently been inspected by the Boardman Fire Prevention Bureau. The combined damage was estimated at $61,000 for three of the blazes, while those three structures had a total value of more than $750,000, said Lt. James A. McCreary, fire prevention officer.
"This made us know that what we are doing is paying off in the long run," McCreary said.
A damage estimate and value for the fourth apartment building was not available, McCreary said.
Precautions limit damage
Each of the four buildings had smoke detectors, as required, in common hallways and outside of each sleeping area, and each apartment owner had at least one fire extinguisher on each level of the building, McCreary said.
On Nov. 4, a smoke detector in the hallway of a $150,000 four-plex at 123 Shields Road warned tenants of a fire that had started on a stove in a first-floor unit. Damage was estimated at $37,000, McCreary said.
In the second fire on Nov. 9, a grease fire was put out in a $308,000 complex at 7057 West Blvd. by a tenant with a fire extinguisher. Damage was estimated at $7,000.
Later in November, there were no injuries and only minimal damage in a six-plex apartment on Red Tail Hawk, said McCreary, who added that details on the damage and date were not available.
And on New Year's Day, a candle started a fire in a complex at 7125 Locust Ave., causing an estimated $17,000 in damage to the $300,000 complex, McCreary said.
Fire prevention officials are urging apartment owners to schedule fire safety inspections for their properties in 2005.
For fire safety tips regarding cooking safety or candle fire safety, contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at (330) 729-9535.

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