It’s been six years since Francine “Fran” Molitor, 59; her daughter, Tonya D. Molitor, 32; and Tonya’s sons, Tyler J. Wade, 6, and Patrick A. Molitor, 3, died of smoke inhalation at their home at 2436 Dunham St. in Clinton.

The fire and subsequent smoke that killed them originated in a chair on the home’s first floor. The chair was located just inside the main doorway between the living room and the stairs to the home’s second-floor bedrooms. While the overnight fire damage was contained to the chair and immediate area and the fire was extinguished in 10 minutes, the entire house sustained heat and smoke damage.

A smoke detector on the home’s second floor wasn’t working; it’s battery had been removed. If that battery had been in place, the family may have been able to escape and would still be alive today.

As we get ready to turn our clocks ahead one hour over the weekend, we are stressing the importance of checking your smoke detectors to make sure they have working batteries and that you have enough of them installed to thoroughly cover your home.

If you need assistance in installing a detector or are wondering if yours is working properly, the local fire department is always willing to come to your house to assist you. The department can be reached at 242-0125.

Please use this weekend as a time to check your detectors.

Your family’s safety depends on it.

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