Riverside Fire Marshal warns to be aware of two impersonators

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RIVERSIDE, Mo. -- Investigators say around six on Thursday night two guys dressed in black suits walked up to a woman's house in Riverside and claimed to be "contract employees" with the Riverside Fire Department, but both men were imposters.

The strangers told the woman, who was home alone, that they were checking homes for compliance with a new fire code that requires smoke detectors.

The woman, a neighbor says who is in her 20's, believed the impersonators and let them inside her home. Investigators say it happened near Cerrito Lane and High Drive.

"It's very scary and that's why you really need to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all time. If I don't have anyone coming, a repairman or anything I'm not going to let anyone inside my house, definitely not, " said Kay Kinsel, who lives in the victim's neighborhood.

"Her father-in-law called me and asked me if those two guys approached my home and I told him no. I'm just glad my neighbor wasn't harmed, " Kinsel added.

Once inside the woman's home, investigators say the phony pair walked around.

"They had a clipboard with them and pretended to be writing down information and then they left. She described one as a white male and the other is black, " said Riverside Fire Marshal Keith Payne.

The woman wasn't hurt.

"People need to remember we do not contract any type of fire service or ask anybody to assist us other than the American Red Cross. Furthermore, if a firefighter comes to your home to install a smoke detector or for any reason, he or she will be in uniform and have identification," said Marshal Payne.

Meantime, officers with the Riverside Police Department are extensively patrolling the area where the fake firefighters struck and they're urging people in the area to keep and eye out and do everything they can to stay safe.

"I'm definitely going to keep on alert and I'm sure my neighbors are, too," said Kinsel.

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