ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The Red Cross is on a mission to prevent anymore fatalities after multiple fire deaths in this region this year. Firefighters say the lack of working smoke alarms contributed to some of the deaths.
St. Louis Region Red Cross CEO Cindy Erickson announced the plan Tuesday to provide and install as many free alarms as needed in a 21 county, bi-state area. “Our hearts go out to the families who have been impacted and so we want to be able to change that and make sure every home has a working smoke alarm,” she said as she stood next to St. Louis City Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson.
Fire departments in the area including St. Louis City’s department have provided free smoke alarms and batteries for years. Jenkerson said he hopes a partnership with the Red Cross will reach even more unprotected homes.
“We lost over 500 children last year in the United States just to fire. Of those 500 children 80 percent of them did not have a working smoke detector in their house,” the Chief said.
Last week a 7-year-old girl lost her life in a fire in north St. Louis. There was no working smoke alarm in the apartment. “Everything was done right last week and we still got beat,” observed Jenkerson. “We still lost a child … shouldn’t happen.”
Two youngsters and their great grandmother were killed in a house fire in University City on February 4.
Contact the Red Cross at 314-516-2797 to leave your name, number and a time when you can be reached to arrange an appointment. Two Red Cross volunteers will come to your home and install three free smoke alarms and help you create a fire escape plan for your home.