Jill Bronaugh
Communication Manager
Office of the State Fire Marshal
800 SW Jackson, Suite 104
Topeka, KS 66612-1216
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Press Releases

Swift Action by Staff Prevents Major Fire Damage at Newton Retirement Community

OSFM | Dec 01, 2017

Lamp in FireAsbury Park staff’s professional and quick action prevented what could have been a catastrophe during a fire in a resident’s room.

On Nov. 9, 2017, Asbury Park of Newton, had a small fire in a resident’s room. The Newton Fire/EMS responded, however, the fire was put out by facility staff before their arrival.

The fire occurred after a resident, who was agitated, kicked a lamp, causing it to make a popping sound and catch fire. Staff heard the sound and immediately removed the resident from the room and shut the door. They then evacuated all 10 residents from the house. Maintenance staff put out the fire with a nearby fire extinguisher. The fire was contained and caused minimal damage.

In an email, Newton City Manager, Bob Myers, praised the Ashbury Park staff’s quick action and training during the incident.

“The fire chief told me that your staff did everything right,” Myers said. “They literally saved the day by their quick actions and execution of the training they had received for such incidents. So, my congratulations goes out to all of you.”

Asbury Park has put a correction plan in place to remove the fire extinguisher mess, remove the lamp, repaint a small area of wall that was singed and patch a piece of singed carpet.  Additionally, they will implement a resident-behavior evaluation process to remove potential hazards when residents become agitated and strike out at objects. The fire alarm system is still working, and they are having the fire extinguisher recharged. 

Myers said he was aware of other situations where Asbury Park staff have been very receptive to overtures from the Newton Fire/EMS Department in helping identify areas where additional training might either prevent problems or allow for quick interdiction in matters of resident and patient care. This prevents situations from becoming more serious ones, he added.