Ann Lindenmuth stood in her living room near 69th and Blondo Monday night, pointing to the ceiling where an off-white round smoke detector was barely visible. A small, green light glowed dimly before a high-pitched chirp punctured the silence.
“It frightened the dogs. It frightened us. I looked around. There wasn't any smoke or anything,” said Lindenmuth.
The sound started around 3:30 p.m. Monday, just as a winter blast brought in a fresh coat of white snow across Omaha. It scared her back to a time when a furnace malfunction started a blaze that consumed her entire home. Thursday will be the sixth anniversary of the blaze.
“[The repair man] came out from the laundry room and said, ‘We've got fire!’" she said describing that day in 2010. “We ran out the front door with the dogs in our stocking feet. We didn't even have coats.”
It’s why the family doesn’t take chances with smoke alarms. Lindenmuth called the local fire department in for help Monday—because neither she, nor her husband, could reach the detector to replace the battery.
“I think it is that one,” she said pointing to the ceiling. The battery that he put in it, I've had for quite awhile, so evidently it's too old.”
Firefighters were back Monday night to replace the battery again after the chirping sound started all over. They cleared up the issue and walked back outside down a freshly cleaned sidewalk—also cleared by a firefighter.
“I told the guys right here, ‘He's shoveling my sidewalk!’” Lindenmuth said. They said, ‘Yeah, we can do that!’ I said, ‘Yeah, but you've got your job to do.’”
One of the firefighters shared a picture of the good deed on social media. That caught our attention. The firefighter responsible for the kind act didn’t want to be identified, but said first responders often clear sidewalks to make way for heavy equipment.
Either way it was a good deed for Lindenmuth—one that provided some peace of mind after a hectic day.
Social media image courtesy of PhotoOmaha