Housing Authority to install stovetop fire extinguishers

Posted: 5:32 PM EDT Oct 14, 2013   Updated: 6:19 PM EDT Oct 14, 2013

When it comes to fighting fires, the Reading Housing Authority is ready to act. 

Over the years, kitchen fires have damaged or destroyed a number of the Housing Authority's apartments. And now officials are working on a new solution to keep residents safe. 

According to RHA Executive Director Daniel Luckey, in the coming weeks, each of the organization's 1800 units will receive two fire extinguishing canisters above stove tops.

"Yeah, with the fires here, I'm sure we'll be way safer," said Mineloy Serrano, a resident on Pershing Blvd.

In the last several days, Serrano faced a stove top fire herself, but was able to put out the fire using a pan lid. 

"We were banging on the fire. We were scared to death," said Serrano.

Serrano lives just doors down from a home that was destroyed after a kitchen fire in June.

"It was scary. Knowing that that happened just two doors away from us, we just kept saying, 'It's going to happen again, it's going to happen again.'" 

It was that fire, among others, which prompted Luckey and the RHA board to decide to purchase the canisters, which are automatically triggered once flames are detected. 

"We're hoping we don't have to displace anyone in the future. We're hoping this will alleviate some of the problem," said Luckey.

Luckey said he hopes the devices will discourage residents from fighting fires on their own.