Westminster family is spotlighted on 'Rescue 911' after near-accident

September 20, 1992|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

WESTMINSTER -- Shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday, mother and daughter nestled in a swivel rocker, ready to watch television.

The Lindsays stared intently as "Rescue 911" came on Channel 11.

Within minutes, 2 1/2 -year-old Allison saw herself on the screen and heard her mother's familiar voice coming from the set.

"Allison was really tickled to see her face on the television," said her mother, Melissa Lindsay.

Pleased with her performance, the child said, "Let's do it again."

"Patience," said Ms. Lindsay, promising Allison another look before bedtime.

"She knew I was taping the show," said Ms. Lindsay, 36.

"I didn't want to stop, though, I wanted to tape the whole show."

The Lindsays' brief time in the spotlight -- about two minutes -- was a re-creation of an event that may have saved Allison's life.

She was an infant when her mother first watched the weekly CBS program.

A firefighter's comments, during an episode on fire prevention and safety, led Ms. Lindsay to check the wiring in her baby's bedroom.

She remains "upset to this day" at what she found.

Ms. Lindsay said she "had to thank someone" for the information that may have prevented a fire.

So she wrote to "Rescue 911."

"I moved the dresser and found where a wire had burned through and charred the back of the dresser as well as the wall in Allison's room," she wrote.

"I can't tell you how I felt and what could have happened had I not been watching."

With that letter, the Lindsays became one of the "100 Lives Saved" stories, which kicked off the series' fourth season.

"We have been building toward this show for the past three seasons," said Susan J. Marks, a CBS publicist.

"We documented stories of people whose lives were saved by what they learned watching our program."

PD The stories came from the hundreds of letters that pour into the

show's headquarters in Los Angeles from around the world, said Ms. Marks.

The Lindsays' story was one of the longer segments.

"Many of the stories were presented with snapshots," said Ms. Lindsay. "We had ours re-enacted."

Television crews spent a day at their Westminster home in July and returned to reshoot.

The spot shows Allison, in a flowered sun dress, painting at home and playing at the Carroll County Farm Museum, while her mother reads her letter.

VJ "I just felt like a weight had been lifted after I wrote that letter,"

she said.

"Getting on TV was the farthest thing from my mind."

She plans to show it the tape to her daughter a few more times before storing it for when Allison is older.

Seated at her desk at Marada Industries the morning after the program, she heard "good job" and "congratulations" from co-workers.

She assured them she wouldn't be leaving her administrative assistant job for a film career.

"I am glad I did it, but I am glad it's over, too," she said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing."

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