I was on my way to the fire station -- to record "Glee", as there's a VCR there and I no longer have cable -- when the page went off. That allowed me to get there early and get the overhead doors open, which in return allowed the other guys to go straight in without having to mess with the electronic door lock. Although I was on the first truck out, that was pretty much the extent of my heroics.
If the staff of the Noble House hadn't acted quickly and properly, our little one hour incident would have been a four or five hour stand that would have destroyed the building. More importantly, it would have been a hard rescue or -- more likely -- a body recovery. It would have also meant a lifelong regret for the child's big brother.
Here's the story:
Noble House Ministry staff members are credited with saving a baby and controlling a fire that threatened their facility at 205 E. Highland Street Wednesday, September 16.
The infant's five year old brother admitted later that he starting the fire while playing with a lighter, according to the Albion Fire Department. The two were reportedly alone for less than ten minutes while a babysitter was nearby, but that was enough time for the boy to accidentally start a fire that burned some clothes, then spread to the crib's mattress and bedclothes. While the boy went looking for help, a Noble House staff member discovered the fire and rescued the sleeping infant. Staff members then controlled the flames with a fire extinguisher, evacuated the residents, and dialed 911.
Fire, police, and EMS units were dispatched at 7:19 p.m. in response to numerous 911 calls, and arrived to find a small smoldering fire, and smoke spreading through the one story building. One person was reportedly treated for difficulty breathing, but did not need to go to the hospital. Thanks to fast action by those inside, no other injuries were reported.
Albion firefighters hauled the smoldering crib outside, finished dousing the fire, and used a thermal imaging device to make sure it hadn't spread further. They also used fans to clear the smoke and an electronic monitor to make sure the air was safe before allowing anyone else inside. Fire damage was limited to the crib and a few belongings in one room, although some smoke damage was done to parts of the building.
Sixteen Albion firefighters responded, manning two engines and a rescue unit. Also assisting were units of the Albion Police Department, Noble County EMS, and Noble County Sheriff's Department. They returned to service at 8:23 p.m.
Noble House Ministries operates Noble House to assist in emergency housing for women and their children, and also run Pilot House, an emergency housing unit for men.