Our newest Faces of Fire story features Mayer and Sheryl Fistal from Falmouth, Maine. They moved from New Jersey to live in their brand new, custom built, retirement dream home. Three months after moving in, on a chilly morning in October 23, 2006, a fire broke out in the fireplace located in their living room. The fire grew, rapidly spreading heat and smoke throughout the house.
The Fistals, their dog and their guests escaped serious injury, although Sheryl suffered smoke inhalation. The house was a total loss and they were literally left with their vehicle and the clothes they were wearing. Everything else they owned was gone.
When they rebuilt their home there was no question that a fire sprinkler system would be included in the plans. “As you get older in life you are not apt to respond as fast as you would when you are young, you’re not as quick to realize what’s happening…sprinklers are definitely worth the investment” said Mayer. “Now I feel very secure…,” added Sheryl.
Mayer and Sheryl were very fortunate to have survived this fire, pretty much unscathed. As Mayer very eloquently pointed out to us, age is a risk factor in fire death and injury. Fire sprinklers control and may fully extinguish the fire, providing the additional time to escape that older adults and other high risk groups may need to get out alive.
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- by NFPA's Maria Figueroa