The sound of her alarm woke Kathy Grainer a month ago. She woke up thinking it was morning but the sky was still dark and her clock read 11:55 p.m. The loud ringing noise continued to echo throughout her house, and Grainier assumed there was an intruder in her home.
She tiptoed into the living room to find that instead of an intruder, there was large wall of smoke covering the room. Just as her panic started to set in, Grainer’s phone rang. It was an ADT operator calling to see if Grainier was OK.
“She (the ADT operator) asked me if I was fine and I said yes but there was smoke,” she said. “She said I had to get out of the house and that she had called the fire department already.”
Grainer was already grabbing her boots and her coat and making her way to her car at that point. As she opened her garage door and pulled out, the first responders were pulling in.
“You were pulling out so fast it was as if the smoke was chasing you,” a lieutenant said to Grainer later.
The firefighters were able to put out the fire, but Grainer said the framing of the southside of her house is “pretty much gone.” And while there was a total of $100,000 in damage to her property, she said she’s focusing on the big picture.
“You can replace a lot of things, but you can’t replace a life,” she said. “Without the ADT monitored system, they wouldn’t have gotten the call, they wouldn’t have been there in time to save my house, my life and my cat.”
Grainer was able to meet the first responders and the ADT operator who talked to her in person at a press conference right outside her Renton home on March 23. The reunion was a “humbling experience” for Grainer.
“I’m grateful for everybody,” she said. “I’m grateful for the ADT operator who called me to make sure I was awake. I was grateful I was able to say thank you to each and every one of them, including King County Sheriffs Office fire investigator who stuck with me the whole evening. He made sure I wasn’t in shock or traumatized. I’m grateful for the first responders because they showed up within minutes of the fire beginning. If they hadn’t I would have probably lost my home, my cat, and quite possibly I could have died.”
At the press conference ADT executives awarded the ADT dispatcher, the salesperson who sold Grainer her system, as well as the technician who installed the system. ADT also awarded Renton Regional Fire Authority with $5,000.