A fire last week at a townhouse rental displaced a mother and her two kids. The cause appears to be a burning bedroom candle. The woman was using a candle because her power had been shut off. Without power, the hard-wired smoke alarms didn’t sound. The woman was hospitalized for smoke inhalation but the kids weren’t hurt. For newer buildings, shutting off power for unpaid utility bills means shutting off hard-wired alarms. That’s a tragedy waiting to happen. It’s probably a rare situation but one that should be addressed.