NORMAN, Okla. Jan 12 2018 A Norman man got to thank firefighters and a security company that both helped save his life during a house fire.
There's not much left of Gene Mendicki's home. Charred furniture, burned walls and the destroyed garage where it all started. It was a November day just like any other and Mendicki was in his living room when he got a call.
On the phone was his security company ADT, who alerted him to a fire. Mendicki stayed on the line as he checked out the alarm.
"I open the door to get to the key pad and I get hit in the face with black smoke." Mendicki said. "It was kinda like running into a wall of black paint, I mean it was that thick."
Gene let his dogs out the backdoor and turned down the hallway to save his cat.
"I'm thinking...If I get back in there and that ceiling falls in, yea, that's it for men," Mendicki said.
He made the right choice and ran out of the home. In less than five minutes, the front of the home became a raging inferno. The Norman Fire Department Chief Travis King reports that this could have been much worse.
"As we can all see, early detection and notification is a key to saving lives," King said.
That's why ADT felt it necessary to help. ADT spokesperson Bob Tucker was in Norman Wednesday to donate $5,000 to the fire department to make sure every home has a smoke detector.
"We believe that first responders are under recognized for the heroic efforts they do to go into a burning house when others are fleeing it," Tucker said.