TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A fire alarm at Terre Haute’s Garfield Towers goes unanswered for a half hour. There was no emergency this time, but residents still voiced concerns to us about what happened. This is the same place where last May a man lost his life at the hands of a fire. The alarm brought back painful memories.
"It's really scary, especially when you're a fire victim yourself a little over a year ago,” said resident Kay Wilson.
Alarms at Garfield Towers are routed to a business called One Touch Security. Terre Haute Fire Chief Jeff Fisher says from there One Touch Security contacts Vigo County Central Dispatch.
"Then dispatch will set off the alarms at our houses and send the appropriate company," said Fisher.
One Touch Security never received the alarm notice because of a malfunction in the alarm system. Fisher confirmed his department was not notified of the alarm until one of the Garfield Tower residents called.
"He said, 'Hey, the alarm here has been going off for 30 minutes. Are you going to send the fire department?'" Fisher said.
Fisher said a heat sensor set off the alarm and it wasn't an actual emergency.
News 10 spoke with Jeff Stevens, who is the executive director of the Terre Haute Housing Authority.
He stated on-site security also notified the fire department of the alarm. Stevens also said security stayed at Garfield Towers overnight until alarm technicians arrived Monday morning at 8 a.m.
Stevens confirmed the malfunction has now been fixed.
For Fisher, he offers this advice to anyone who hears a fire alarm at Garfield Towers: "Don't wait a half an hour. If the fire department don't show up in five minutes, six minutes, get on the phone and call 911."
There was no emergency this time, but next time there could be. And residents of Garfield Towers remember that all too well.
"It was just over a year ago that we lost a friend named Freddy, and I don't want to see this happen again to us,” said Wilson.
An ambulance was called to Garfield Towers, but it was not related to the original alarm.
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