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Salem firefighters: Alarm system prevented major damage at home

December 7, 2010

SALEM - No one was home and it's a good thing they had an alarm system, Salem Fire Capt. Mike Mahouski said after returning to the station Monday afternoon.

Firefighters just responded to an alarm company call at 2:57 p.m. and with a truck out of the station in the 200 block of E. Second St. They were on the scene at 770 E. 4th St. one minute later where a clogged corn-burner fire backed up into the feeder mechanism.

The two-story home, built in 1920, is owned by Chad and Krista Rhodes.

Article Photos

Salem firefighters responded to this call at 770 E. 4th St. just one minute after receiving the alarm at 2:57 p.m. Monday. A corn burner caused smoke in the residence. No one was home at the time and the call was generated by an alarm system at the home. There was minimal damage and no injuries. Firefighter Ken Vernon is in the foreground, Capt. Scott Mason is on the left while Inspector Aaron Loper and Capt. Mike Mahouski are on the porch. (Salem News photo by Larry Shields)

Smoke set off the alarm and firefighters arrived almost immediately and the house received minimal damage, if any, according to Mahouski.

"It could've been worse ... the alarm company was monitoring and we got the call directly from them," he said.

Mahouski explained corn burners, supplementary heating devices, can also use wood pellets. He said this one somehow got backed up into the unburnt corn in the chute and started it burning.

Other than ventilating light smoke, firefighters took the burned corn outside.

One of the owners was on the scene and Inspector Aaron Loper commented on having an alarm system.

"It saved her a lot of money," he said, adding that she had mentioned it just paid for itself.

Firefighters were back in service at 3:38 p.m.

Larry Shields can be reached at



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