Worthington Home Saved By 20-Year-Old Fire Extinguisher


UPDATED: Thursday February 13, 2014 11:56 PM

During Family Safety Week, one way you will want to keep your loved ones safe is with a fire extinguisher.  A Worthington man thought he'd never need it until one evening a week ago.

A clean-up crew was busy wiping down the family room of a Worthington home as fans whirred nearby. Two days before, it was the scene of a fire. Piles of charred boards and pink insulation now blackened from fire, obscured part of the driveway.

The owner, Richard, who didn't want his last name used, said the fire started when he plugged an air filter into a wall socket.

"There was a loud pop.  The outlet spewed flames at me," Richard said.

He had pulled the plug and thought the fire was over until his wife reacted.

"She said, 'There's flames on the wall.' I said, 'Oh my goodness!  I'll get a fire extinguisher.  You call the fire department,' “he recalled.  "I was shocked and scared."

He had bought a fire extinguisher 20 years ago, but had never used one before.  This time it worked. The flames were out by the time firemen arrived.

Richard lifted the now-empty extinguisher.

""I'll tell you what - best 10 bucks I ever spent," he said.

Worthington Fire Captain Jay Arnholt agreed.

"Everyone should have one," he said.

Captain Arnholt said home fire extinguishers are marked A-B-C.  That means they'll quench fires from wood, paper, or rubber...flammable liquids...or electrical malfunctions. He says you should check the dial on the device.  Green means it's good.  Red means refill it.

He demonstrated the right way to use one.

"One thing you want to do when you use a fire extinguisher is always have an exit between you and the fire.  And never turn your back to the fire.  So as you use that extinguisher, you want to back out like this...as you apply the extinguishers, so you have a way out. "

Richard said that the Worthington fire chief told him that the fire extinguisher saved his home.

"I always thought this stuff happened to other people, but this time it was me!" Richard said.

He had advice of his own about fire extinguishers.

"Get more than one!"

Arnholt added that it's also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher in the car.

He said to operate the extinguisher, remember the word PASS. P means pull the pin.  A means aim the nozzle toward the base of the fire.  S means squeeze the handles together.  The last S means sweep the nozzle back and forth toward the fire.

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