ADT Awards Firefighters $5K for Speedy Response to House Fire

ADT made the donation to the Hendersonville, Tenn., Fire Department for its efforts in saving a family’s residence. ADT dispatched firefighters after receiving an alert from a monitored smoke alarm.

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – ADT honored a central station dispatcher along with the city fire department here for keeping a family and their home safe from a potentially devastating fire.

Homeowner Chris Collins told WSMV-TV he had gotten calls from his alarm company before, but this one was different. (See video below.)

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“We’ve had the false alarms, but I knew this one wasn’t,” Collins said.

His daughter, Ainsley Collins, was home alone at the time in her basement bedroom.

“I didn’t smell anything. I didn’t hear anything,” she said. “The only reason that I knew something was wrong was that the ADT system went off.”

When she went upstairs to let the dogs out, she saw smoke and called her dad.

“By the time I let the dogs out until I was back in, the smoke had doubled, maybe even tripled,” Ainsley Collins said. “It was infiltrating our entire house.”

In a ceremony Thursday (July 23), ADT played the emergency call that may have changed everything. The alarm company also honored emergency dispatcher Byllie Southerland with the company’s Life Saver Award.

“Every call that I get, I address it as if it’s real,” said Southerland, who started with the company in April. “If you need help, I’m going to get it for you.”

ADT made a $5,000 donation to the firefighters who responded.

Hendersonville Fire Department officials said the fire was in the wiring between two walls. If not for the smoke alarm, the Collins’ home could have been a total loss.

“The hidden fires are the ones that are the most dangerous,” said Fire Chief Scotty Bush of the Hendersonville Fire Department. “The ones that are behind the walls are going to go up and get up in the attic. Once it’s in the attic, basically you’re going burn the top off a house. “

Bush said the money will go into a fund to help local families who’ve experienced a fire.

“The importance of smoke detectors and what they do, you cannot put a value on that,” Bush said.

The Collins family and their pets are staying in an apartment until their home is rewired.

“It’s an inconvenience that could have been a tragedy,” Collins added.

WSMV Channel 4

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