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Firefighter: Check smoke detectors as we 'spring forward'

Posted at 6:54 PM, Mar 09, 2019

As you set your clocks an hour ahead before going to bed Saturday, firefighters say it's also a good time to check the batteries in your smoke detectors.

On February 27th, a raging fire destroyed the Palm City home of James Diapoules.

"My first thought was 'Thank God we made it out'", said Diapoules standing in front of the home.

The garage door sat charred and crumpled off to the side

“The only thing that’s salvageable is the family photos,” said Diapoules.

Out on the front lawn, there is a helmet, blackened but in a familiar shape.

“This is my helmet, that was in the garage," said Diapoules, pointing at it.


James Diapoules is Captain James Diapoules with Martin County Fire-Rescue.

“If we did not have a smoke alarm, nothing would have woken us up.”

Diapoules is stressing that when you turn the clocks forward, take a moment to check on your smoke detectors.

“It’s really intense when I’ve been part of many scenes like this. To be on the other side of this is pretty intense.”

Diapoules points to the wire in the electrical panel that sparked the blaze in the garage, just on the other side of where his sons sleep.

Pointing to the door leading from the garage to the home, Diapoules also says it’s a good idea to keep doors closed, to stop flames and smoke from spreading.

“Luckily it didn’t get into the house until we made it out of the structure.”

But most importantly, look up.

“Smoke detectors, very important, check them every 6 months, change out the batteries.”