Thursday, September 3, 2015

Smoking While Home Burns

Firemen inspect damage on Gate 6-1/2
Photo by Gail Forrest 
By Larry Clinton

Nick Hvass and Jana deAsis, two new renters on Gate 6-1/2, were returning home on the evening of July 28 when they spotted flames licking out from under the entry to the first home on the dock. They immediately called 911, then grabbed a nearby garden hose and began dousing the flames. Several fire vehicles responded to the call, and firefighters determined that the blaze had been started when a still- burning cigarette butt that had been dropped on the entry rolled down between the gangplank and wooden stairs.

Amazingly, while the firefighters were conducting their investigation, the home’s resident, also a renter, was seen on the back deck . . . still smoking! According to eyewitness reports, she continued to smoke while being interviewed by the firemen. Thankfully, that tenant has since left the premises. The home suffered minor damage.

If not for the quick action of Nick, and Jana, this could have been a much more serious situation. Because our homes and docks are primarily made of wood, fire could spread very easily. Although not specifically addressed by Kappas leases, smoking inside or on the docks should be forbidden in rental agreements and actively discouraged by anyone who witnesses it.