Fire Forces Retirement Community to Evacuate

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

BARTONSVILLE -- Investigators in Monroe County are trying to figure out how a mattress caught fire Monday afternoon at an assisted living home near Bartonsville.

The State Police Fire Marshal spent the day investigating the fire scene at Hillcrest Retirement Community.

It took five volunteer fire companies minutes to douse the blaze that the fire marshal says started in a now burnt-out room.

Officials with Hillcrest say all residents made it out of the building where the fire was located with no injuries.

Resident Dorothy Thompson says she is thankful everyone's safe, including her two parakeets.

"They seem okay, I guess they didn't get too much smoke," said Thompson.

According to the fire chief, the blaze sparked a little after noon.

Fire companies were immediately dispatched. A Hillcrest officials says they went into action right away.

"The smoke alarm went off in the building, which sounds throughout the whole building. The fire was in one area where we removed the residents first, then removed the rest of the residents to the fire safe area," said Donna Frailey of Hillcrest Retirement Community.

By the time the fire department arrived to the retirement community, all 50 residents were safe, accounted for and waiting inside the sun room.  Officials at the retirement community say the fire is something they`ve been practicing for monthly.

"It's a once a month drill. We keep them in shape, they all know where the fire safe areas are and today when this happened, it was utilized and they did a fabulous job," said Frailey.

"We complain about them. I don't think anyone is going to complain about them again because that's what made it go so well, everyone knew where they were supposed to go," said Thompson.

And as Thompson puts it, she now knows first hand that practice fire drills do work.