Free smoke alarms and installations on tap

Red Cross and firefighters hope to serve those most in need this MLK Day


One caused smoke to billow from the windows of a home near downtown and left a woman in critical condition.

Another began in the crawl space of a north side home. Inside, investigators found a man who had died. And yet another began in a bedroom of a single-story home on the city’s west side and sent two people to the hospital.

Home fires can happen any time, and the above is just a tiny sampling of house fires Fort Wayne firefighters were called to in the past two months. According to the American Red Cross, house fires increase during the fall and winter months.

That’s why on Monday, to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana, will install smoke alarms, test existing alarms and replace smoke alarm batteries along with the Fort Wayne Fire Department.

Officials plan to sever the most vulnerable communities in the area.

“It’s more important than ever that we all band together to save lives, reduce injuries and needless loss from home fires,” said Duchess Adjei, the regional communication director for the Red Cross, in a media release. “As we look to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we will use his message of services to save lives and prevent fires.”

The smoke alarms will be free, and officials will meet from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church at 3705 S. Anthony Blvd.

Officials with Red Cross chapters throughout the state hope to install a total of 1,000 smoke alarms for Hoosier residents. Since Dec. 1, the Indiana Region of the Red Cross has seen 110 disaster events, with 202 families affected and 11 fatalities.

Anyone wanting to volunteer with the Red Cross or with questions on how to help can check the Indiana region’s website or Facebook page.


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