Fond du Lac Fire & Rescue details how those with hearing impairments can respond to an emergency

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WFRV) – After Fond du Lac Fire & Rescue saved the life of an elderly woman from a fire early Tuesday morning, the department details how the hearing-impaired can save themselves in an emergency.

According to Fire Chief Erick Gerritson, the woman living at 984 Ashbury Court was sleeping in bed when crews rescued her from her house. She was not alerted by her smoke detector, likely because she is hearing-impaired.

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Gerritson offered a helpful tip for those who have difficulty hearing their smoke alarms. He says, “They do make what’s called a bed shaker that is tied to the smoke detectors. Once the smoke detector activates, it’ll vibrate the bed to alert you of the smoke detectors going off.”

The fire department also says that her smoke detectors may not have been working properly. They reminded neighbors to make sure their detectors are working and that they have a safe escape plan.

Dan Verdegan lives with his family across the street from where the fire happened.

“In cold like this, do we know where are shoes, our coats, and our clothing are? Those are the things that are important to us that kept going on in my mind because fire is a dangerous thing. It wrecks lives. It destroys things, and that’d be devastating to happen to our family.”

Chief Gerritson also says windy conditions may have saved the woman’s life.

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“The high winds were probably an asset because all the hot smoke and toxic gases from the fire were blown away from the bedroom,” Gerritson says.

The woman that was rescued from the scene is safe and staying with family nearby. The cause of the fire was determined to be electrical.

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