The search for the next great American Inventor concluded last night when the audience's votes were tallied and Greg Chavez was awarded the million-dollar grand prize -- moving him one step closer to his dream of mass producing his product, Guardian Angel -- on ABC's American Inventor.
A firefighter, husband and father of six from Camarillo, California -- who auditioned in San Francisco -- Greg describes his Guardian Angel Christmas tree fire suppression system invention as "a small, pressurized tank of water, disguised as a Christmas present, which is placed under the Christmas tree and attached to a small hose leading to the top of the tree, where a fusible link is disguised as an angel. The heat from a fire pops the link and water suppresses the fire. There is also an alarm that works without a battery, intended to suppress (not fully extinguish) a Christmas tree fire and sound an alarm to get people out of the house alive."
The inspiration for Greg's invention came to him one night during the Christmas holiday 15 years ago, when he saw a news report of a Christmas tree fire that had claimed the life of a small child. The tragic image of the father carrying his lifeless child out of a burning home changed his life forever, and he knew from that moment he had to do something to prevent this from ever happening again.
His wife encouraged and supported his dream to keep pursuing the idea over the many years, even though there were several times when he wanted to give up. Unable to afford to build his own prototype to get the Guardian Angel to market on his own, Greg needed American Inventor's $50,000 in seed money to get his product to the next level.
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