On the morning of March 23, 2018, Jim Broeckelman, Senior IP Head-End Technician, and Kyle Jones, Senior Communications Technician, were involved in responding to a fire in an apartment complex near the Nex-Tech office in Norton, Kansas.
Broeckelman was headed to work at about 7:30 a.m. when he noticed smoke rising from the rear of the apartment building next to the office. After calling 911, he headed to the front of the building to alert the tenants. Broeckelman assisted getting six people out of the building from both the main floor
Jones was also on duty early when his pager went off. As Captain of the Norton City Fire Department, he immediately responded to the call and arrived at the scene of the fire within four minutes.
By this time, the smoke had evolved into full flames out of the back of the apartment complex. Broeckelman informed Jones about an apartment that he had been unable to get a response from, and Jones instructed fellow firemen to gain entry by kicking the locked door in. Fortunately, the apartment was empty. The fire department extinguished the fire within five minutes. They were able to contain the fire damage to the back foyer area. There were no injuries among the tenants or respondents.
Had the fire evolved without being noticed, tenants may have been consumed by smoke and firefighters may not have been able to enter the building to rescue the tenants. Broeckelman, Jones and the Norton Fire Department truly averted what could have been a major catastrophe.