City of Houston Fire Department Chief Robbie Smith, left, presents a certificate of recognition to Sarah Jones for her actions in preventing a fire while working at Houston House Nursing Center. Next to Jones are fire department Lt. Bobby Bell and firefighter Wayne Brown.

After working for about four years at Houston House Nursing Center in Houston, Licking resident Sarah Jones was going about her business on May 23 during another shift in the facility’s kitchen.

Just before 5 a.m., Jones was preparing breakfast for residents and had some bacon and sausage cooking in the oven. But this time something was different, as she noticed smoke coming from the controls on the oven.

While the situation startled her, Jones kept her composure, grabbed a nearby fire extinguisher and snuffed the flames inside the oven.

“I was kind of afraid of what was going on,” she said, “but then it was like my training kicked in and I figured out what to do.”

When City of Houston Fire Department personnel arrived at the scene, including Chief Robbie Smith, the situation was already under control. Jones told Smith she could see fire through a small hole on the front of the oven where its red activation light had melted out.

“Some people might have panicked to the point of not responding properly or in time,” Smith said, “but Sarah did exactly what needed to be done in a timely manner. She really did a great job.”

In a ceremony on Monday (June 15), Smith presented Jones with a certificate of recognition and Houston Fire Department Lt. Bobby Bell gave her a $25 gift certificate to Savor Grill & Barbecue and a $10 gift certificate to The Eatin’ Place.

“I’m honored they decided to do this for me,” Jones said, “but I just thought of it as part of my job.”

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