Firefighter prevents tragedy at group home in Kinston

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) – A first responder says he was doing his job, but he’s being called a hero for preventing a tragedy at a group home in Lenoir County.

Kinston Fire & Rescue went to perform a routine inspection of Barnes Group Homes on December 11th in Kinston.

Inspector Randy Jones says he noticed that the facility had gas furnaces and appliances, but no carbon monoxide detectors.

He says the owner immediately installed them per his instructions and four days later they returned on a call for service.

“They responded and found out that it was indeed not the fire alarm but one of the carbon monoxide alarms that was going off, and at that time they took verification readings with our gas monitors that we have on our apparatus, and they verified that there were elevated readings of carbon monoxide inside the structure,” says Jones.

Jones says all the residents were safely evacuated and the alarm was set off by a leak in the line going to the gas stove.

Anthony Foster says his grandmother lives across the street and he’s thankful the worst didn’t happen.

“I’m a people person and I care about people you know so I been knowing these people for a while so that was a good idea helping people out I’m glad they’re okay and everything,” says Foster.

Jones says people need to know that carbon monoxide is a silent killer.

“Odorless, you can’t smell it, you don’t know it’s there. If it’s starting to build up you could easily go to sleep at night not realizing that the gas is building up and it will get to the point where you may not be able to wake up the next morning,” says Jones.

Although Jones is being called a hero by many, he says he doesn’t consider himself one and that he just did what he was sworn to do.

Jones says any home that has a fuel-burning source should have a smoke detector as well as a carbon monoxide detector installed.