Fog from Halloween prop causes fire scare

Justin Head

Halloween is the time of year people appreciate disguises — as long as it’s not a fire.

Hornell firefighters and police were called to a home at 12:22 p.m. Tuesday for the possibility of a house fire.

A call came into the 911 center from a woman at a pizzeria across the street from the home issuing smoke.

When firefighters and police arrived minutes later, they found a man testing a smoke machine on the front porch. The machine was part of a Halloween display he had in his front yard.

“People have to be aware that everybody nowadays has a cell phone. People see smoke and they are going to call 911,” said Captain Brian Tingley.

Tingley was one of four firefighters in two fire trucks who responded to the call. Firefighters blocked traffic momentarily when they arrived.

“We came over the bridge and saw a lot of smoke, but I thought it was too light colored to be anything,” said Captain Steve Lamb. “We told him (the home owner) to take it easy, there was an awful lot of smoke.”

Lamb said the firefighters were happy that it was a false alarm.

“It’s a relief to know that somebody’s not in trouble,” Lamb said.

This is not the first time a smoke machine has been mistaken for a fire, according to firefighters.

Lamb recalled a 911 call because of a smoke coming from the a haunted house a few years back.

“We knew it wasn’t a fire then though,” he said.

The Evening Tribune