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What should you do if the fire alarm goes off, but you can’t hear it?

Smoke alarms save lives, but what if the homeowner can’t hear the alarm when it goes off?

That was the question faced by Gloucester Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad’s Fire Prevention Officer Tony Villani over the weekend, and he came up with an answer.

Villani said fire personnel responded to a call on Sunday where the homeowner was at home cooking and burned food on the stove. Unconcerned, the cook just added a little water to the pan and continued cooking.

Unknown to the homeowner, smoke from the burned food had set off the alarm. It was blaring, but the homeowner didn’t hear it because of a hearing deficit. The alarm company received the alarm and turned it into Gloucester dispatch, and soon firefighters were on their way.

Villani said he was the first to arrive at the scene, and while going around the back of the house to complete the “360” check to look for smoke and/or fire, he found the owner standing at the kitchen stove cooking, unaware of his presence. He banged o...

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