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 Troy Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Riesterer, left; Fire Chief Dave Roberts; and Assistant Fire Chief Pete Hullinger, far right, award Jeff Dunstan, second from right, a Civilian Citation Jan. 8.

Troy Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Riesterer, left; Fire Chief Dave Roberts; and Assistant Fire Chief Pete Hullinger, far right, award Jeff Dunstan, second from right, a Civilian Citation Jan. 8.

Photo provided by the Troy Fire Department


Troy man recognized for extinguishing blaze in neighbor’s apartment

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published January 15, 2020

TROY — Jeff Dunstan was awake at 2:15 a.m. Nov. 26 when his upstairs neighbor in the Somerset Park Apartments banged on his door, asking for help — her apartment was on fire.

“I happened to be awake,” he said. “I grabbed my fire extinguisher.”

He explained that apartment management requires each unit to have a fire extinguisher.

When Dunstan got upstairs, flames were coming out of the ceiling from a bathroom ceiling fan.

He emptied both his and his neighbor’s fire extinguishers at the fan to put out the blaze.

“Once I didn’t see any more flames, I stopped what I was doing,” he said.

According to a press release, the Fire Department received a call from a resident in the Somerset Park Apartments stating that the vent in her master bedroom was on fire.

The caller said her neighbor had used fire extinguishers, but they were not sure that the fire was out, the release states.

She reportedly told fire investigators that she was awoken by “a popping noise from the bathroom,” and she noticed “the reflection of flames from the bathroom ceiling in the closet doors.”

According to the press release, firefighters arrived at the scene of the large, two-story, eight-unit apartment building and found no smoke or fire showing from the outside.

The building is attached to two similarly sized buildings, with a total of 24 occupied units.

According to the press release, further investigation revealed that there had been a fire in the ceiling fan and that Dunstan had contained the fire to the immediate area, which allowed occupants of the apartment building to be alerted and escape from the building.

“A fire in the fan, which is installed from the attic side, would allow flames to easily spread through the attic and threaten all occupants of this 24-unit apartment building. But quick action by Mr. Dunstan prevented a disastrous loss,” Troy Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Riesterer said in the release.

The apartment where the fire started is presently uninhabitable. Somerset Park Apartments management relocated the resident to another apartment in the complex.

The Troy Fire Department presented Dunstan with the department’s Civilian Citation Jan. 8 “for his quick thinking and his actions to protect life and property.”

He “unquestionably protected many fellow residents and their property from being damaged or lost by fire,” the release states.