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November 18, 2011

COLUMBIA CITY — A Columbia City police officer and area fireman’s house caught fire Thursday night.
Kenny Smith, master patrolman for the CCPD and a long-time fireman for Thorncreek Township, was on police duty when his home caught fire just around 11 p.m.
The officer’s wife, Julie Smith, was on-duty as a Whitley County dispatcher and took the 911 call from her son.
Smith said he rushed home at 185 W CR 200 N and was able to save two of three cats. He then changed from his CCPD uniform to his fire gear to assist in extinguishing the fire.
Smith’s sons, ages 17 and 10, were at home in bed when they heard the smoke detectors go off.
“Our older son grabbed his brother and got out of the house before calling 911,” Smith said. “He did everything exactly as I taught him.”
According to Smith, the sons saw a glow from another room on their way out of the house.
“They think it probably started in the bathroom or closet,” Smith said.
Smith warned that it’s very important for people to make sure their smoke detectors are working and their children have a fire safety plan.
“Those smoke detectors saved my sons’ lives. I can replace everything in the house. I can’t replace my sons,” Smith said.

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For a more in-depth article and more photos, pick up a copy of Friday's Post and Mail.

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