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Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Smoke alarm saves man

St. Marys

By Shelley Grieshop
ST. MARYS - A smoke detector bought one week ago is credited with saving the life of a St. Marys man.
Ronald Rupard, owner of a cabin at 01528 Arnold Road north of the city, reportedly awoke to flames and the sound of the newly-purchased smoke alarm about 5 a.m. Wednesday. He safely fled the burning structure, officials said.
"This is a good example to show people why smoke alarms are so important," St. Marys Fire Chief Joe Weaver said this morning. "He (Rupard) just bought the alarm a week earlier."
The fire destroyed the small home and an RV parked nearby. Damage was listed at approximately $15,000, Weaver said.
The cabin, located near a pond, was fully engulfed when firefighters from the St. Marys department arrived. Also summoned to the scene were firefighters from Spencerville and St. Marys Township Fire Department. About 20 firefighters remained on the scene for several hours.
Water to fight the blaze was taken from the nearby pond and a hydrant in the neighborhood, Weaver said.
A representative of the State Fire Marshals Office was at the scene on Wednesday and listed the cause as accidental and undetermined.
Weaver said the frigid temperature - just above 20 degrees - was an issue for firefighters.
"It was tough keeping our crews warm," he said.
The water that accumulated on the ground also made it slippery, he added.
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