Officials: Smoke detectors not installed in home of fatal Hudson Falls fire

HUDSON FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Police investigating a deadly arson in Hudson Falls say they’ve made a disturbing discovery about the smoke detectors.

It’s a discovery that officials say could have prevented the death of 19-year-old Ashley Coltrain.

“We did not find any evidence of smoke detectors whatsoever in the residence,” Gregory Amyot, Investigator at NYS OFPC, said.

Coltrain died as her boyfriend Derrick Guilder, who’s accused in the case, escaped through a window at the North Street home.

“Every place where there’s a sleeping area where someone sleeps should have a smoke detector outside that sleeping area and a carbon monoxide detector.”

Investigator Amyot says this year’s theme for National Fire Prevention week is to know two ways out and have a smoke detector.

If you have smoke alarms in your home as you should you’re on the right track, but you also have to make sure that they’re operational.

For some the sound of a false fire alarm or nuisance alarm can lead to frustration, but you should never disable or pull your smoke detector off the wall.

At David Ulmer Fire Alarm and Suppression, Ray Fredricks says he’s seen a lot of dangerous acts out of frustration.

“Instead if they can’t get it off the ceiling they’ll cover it with a bag or something again just things you definitely don’t want to do,” Fredericks said. “Most devices on residential do have a push to test button on them so you would activate that.”

Fredricks says you should change the batteries every six months, and clean off dust or any debris from your alarm.

“Zap around your vacuum wand up there and draw it out rather than push it into the detector.”

“Smoke detectors cost about $10 and if your life is worth $10 then we really recommend that you install them,” Amyot said.

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