The Malta Ridge Volunteer Fire Company is reminding homeowners to keep their smoke detectors well-maintained after functioning detectors prevented extensive damage and potentially death in two fires during a 14-hour period Tuesday and Wednesday.
The fires happened Tuesday at 11:41 a.m. on Nelson Avenue Extension and Wednesday at 1:33 a.m. on Malta Avenue.
During the first fire, a laptop battery exploded and sent burning materials into two different rooms. Nobody was home, but the smoke detectors triggered an alert.
Firefighters found smoke on all three floors of the building and eventually were able to rescue three cats. Round Lake Fire Department assisted the Malta volunteers and the damage was limited to the vicinity of the computer and certain furniture.
During the second fire, the smoke detector warned residents of the growing flames. The fire caused extensive damage to the front of the house, but Round Lake, Ballston Spa and Saratoga Springs firefighters were able to assist in beating the flames down quickly. The fire was caused by painting materials spontaneously igniting.
Chief Peter Shaw recommends residents vacuum the dust off their detectors and replace batteries annually during the switch to daylight saving time.