July 29, 2020

Thanks to Princeton First Responders For Calm, Courteous, Professional Aid

To the Editor:

On Saturday, July 25 my tenant arrived home to find her house filled with thick smoke. She immediately ran into my house to tell me that “something has happened.” I asked her what, and she indicated that she had left a pot on the stove, gone out, and had not turned the flame out under the pot.

I called 911, which was answered promptly and extremely courteously. The operator was highly professional and calm. She asked all of the relevant questions. She connected me to the police and the fire department. The police were here before I even got off of the phone. The officers went through their normal procedures and were calm, courteous, and highly professional.

Less than four minutes later the fire department arrived, assessed the situation and went straight to work to remedy the problem. The interior of the  house was engulfed in thick smoke. I thank God that nobody was in the home. After questioning me and the tenant, the police officers stayed around until the firefighters got things under control. They and the firefighter worked together like a well-oiled machine. They were very comforting in their tones and instructions for me and the tenant, who was highly upset.

What could have been extremely frantic and frightening was handled like it was just another day in the lives of first responders. I am grateful that we have such professional law enforcement and emergency crews in Princeton. The tenant was totally amazed at the speed with which they arrived and got everything back to order.

I do sincerely thank everyone dispatched by that 911 operator for turning what could have been tragic into a positive result. It will smell like smoke for a while around here, but nobody was injured and other than the pot, no property damage. (Note: The building has several smoke detectors. The new ones in that unit had new batteries in them, but the batteries were still wrapped in cellophane, as they were shipped. If you have new detectors, make sure the batteries are not encased in plastic.)

I do thank and commend all who came to our aid with such professionalism, care, and courtesy.

Jacqueline L. Swain
Lytle Street