A Walkerton man who died in a Sunday house fire in Plymouth might be alive today had the home been equipped with smoke detectors. That’s according to fire investigators, who say the early morning blaze in the 400 block of Alexander Street was accidental and electrical in nature. WNDU-TV reports that an extension cord running from the garage to the house was plugged into a six-prong power strip, which was in turn managing several devices, including a stereo and a computer. The cord had become frayed over time and was underneath the couch. At least 10 people were in the house when the fire started around 5:30 Sunday morning. Most everyone got out but realized someone was missing. Anthony Johnson, 21, of Walkerton, died of smoke inhalation. Plymouth Fire Department Assistant Chief John Pasley tells the TV station that smoke detectors could have awakened Johnson and given him ample time to get out of the house. Additionally he says more people could have died had someone not been awake to alert the others when the fire started.
Written by Mary Perren
WKVI News Director Mary Perren is glad to be back home in northern Indiana and on the radio. She’s a North Judson native with more than 20 years of news experience. She’s worked in print and radio news in Indianapolis, Hopkinsville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn. and most recently in Winamac before taking over as news director for Kankakee Valley Broadcasting in February of 2013. Her work has been honored by the Associated Press, StateNets News Association, Curb Foundation, Hoosier State Press Association and IBA. When she’s not sitting in the anchor chair or chasing down news, Mary enjoys shopping for antiques, attending concerts and taking long walks and rides in her vintage Saab convertible, weather permitting. She’s also a hopelessly devoted Chicago Cubs fanatic who still cringes at the mention of Steve Garvey and Josh Beckett and maintains it wasn’t Steve Bartman’s fault.