Fault Fire Extinguisher Leads to Eviction

Fire extinguisher on flame background

Having a working fire extinguisher can be pretty important. After all, a study from the National Federation of Fire Equipment Distributors found that fire extinguishers successfully extinguished 12,505 fires of the 13,221 fire incidents reported — an incredible 95%.

However, are they so important that they can lead to an eviction notice? Apparently, yes.

Regina Cummings and her five-year-old daughter are being forced out of their Tennessee apartment after a kitchen fire, which she says wouldn’t have gotten out of control if the fire extinguisher in her apartment had been in working order.

“I stepped out for two seconds,” Cummings told WSMV. “I just wanted to step on the porch.”

Unfortunately, that was all it took for the fire to ignite in her microwave oven.

“I turn around and there’s a fire in my kitchen,” said Cummings.

Naturally, she reached for her fire extinguisher, which should have effectively snuffed the flames — but it failed. The extinguisher hadn’t been inspected since August of 2013.

“It was a pretty big blaze,” Cummings told WSMV. “[I] tried to put it out with water myself. It didn’t work, so I ended up calling the fire department.”

But by the time help had gotten there, the damage was done.

Cummings then contacted her leasing office, which brought her another microwave, but also an eviction letter telling her to be out by July 24.

WSMV reached out to Cummings’ apartment building to ascertain who’s responsible for maintaining the fire extinguisher — the tenant or management — but failed to hear back.

Cummings, however, was not going to go down easy.

“I’m going to fight it,” she said. “Because I’m not just going to roll over and let them do that. Because what if something would have happened to my child?”

The eviction notice gave Cummings 30 days to contest it, which is exactly what she says she plans to do.

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