Fort Worth firefighters hope free smoke alarms will save lives

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by TINA FOSTER

WFAA

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 7 at 6:40 PM

FORT WORTH — Fort Worth firefighters hit the streets Tuesday armed with inexpensive lifesavers.

Three people have died in house and apartment fires in the last two weeks; deaths that may have been prevented if a working smoke detector had been in place.

"Good morning, sir, we are with the Fort Worth Fire Department," said Shannon Keener. "We are putting up smoke detectors if you need one."

Fire department personnel went door-to-door installing free smoke detectors and checking existing alarms.

"In this house, we ended up replacing three batteries," Keener said.

Firefighters hope their efforts will save lives in the wake of three deadly fires.

Larry Davis, 62, died in a house fire Friday night. Earlier that same day, 50-year-old Darrell Chambers lost his life in an apartment fire. On New Year's Eve, 87-year-old Mildred Ballard died of injuries she suffered from a house fire on December 26.

The deaths, fire officials believe, might have been prevented with working smoke alarms.

The Jones family didn't have a smoke detector until Tuesday.

"The fire department came in, and they were really nice," Christina Jones explained to her child. "They gave us a fire alarm, so if something happens, we can get you to safety."

Fort Worth residents who need a free smoke detector can call 817-392-6862 to make an appointment.

"It's such a simple thing to prevent a tragedy," Keener said.

E-mail tfoster@wfaa.com

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