MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Montclair Fire department has much to smile about, as they have seen the fruits of their labor pay off.

On January 18, the Montclair State University Center for Community Engagement & Center for Student Involvement, collaborated with the Montclair Fire Department during a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.  Volunteers from AmeriCorps, MSU (students, alumni, & faculty) and volunteers from the local community, gathered to spread knowledge about Fire Prevention within the Montclair community. 

Montclair Fire Department members took the time to install smoke detectors in homes and businesses that need them while the volunteers went door-to-door and business to business, giving out fire prevention literature.

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One particular home they visited was located on Willowdale Ave. 

As fate would have it, a little over two months later on March 23, the same resident on Willowdale Ave was alerted to a fire that was growing in their living room, by a smoke detector that was given to them on the MLK Day of Service, stated Deputy Fire Chief Robert Duncan in a release. 

He added, "The occupant was able to put the fire out with an extinguisher while it was still small."  

Fire Department officials state that units arrived to find a portion of the couch burned and the wall behind it scorched, but the fire was already out. 

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is a national initiative to engage the community in helping others in their community. 

In honor of King's life and legacy, Americans across the country come together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities. The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative that calls for Americans to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.

"Because of the residents quick action in response to the smoke detectors activation, there was no risk to life, and property damage was kept to a minimum," he added. 

Montclair Fire officials expressed gratitude for the efforts of all the volunteers indicating that because of their assistance, a potential tragedy may have been averted.

"The MLK Day of Service has already proved its worth," Duncan added.