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Source: Kokomo Tribune

Kokomo neighborhoods still mourning fatal Christmas fires to receive free smoke detectors

Local residents can still volunteer for Saturday event

From staff reports
From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, the American Red Cross of Central Indiana will canvass Kokomo as part of its Home Fire Campaign, held in memory of two young sisters and a man killed in Kokomo house fires on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, respectively.

The effort, funded in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Howard County, is a partnership between the Red Cross, Community Foundation, United Way of Howard County and local volunteers to reach every home in the city with free smoke alarms and fire prevention and disaster preparedness education.

Officials and volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. Saturday at the United Way of Howard County, 212 W. Walnut St. Light refreshments, training and instruction will take place.

To volunteer, email ricky.ward@redcross.org. For those interested in supporting other Home Fire Campaign events or becoming a Red Cross volunteer, call 888-684-1441.

To make an appointment to have smoke alarms tested and/or free alarms installed in your home, call the Red Cross at 888-684-1441 or visit www.redcross.org/INHomeFire.

“Our hearts and thoughts go out to all those who’ve been impacted by the recent tragedies in this community,” said Vanessa Davis, director of operations for the Central Indiana chapter. “Through this event, we want to make sure this does not happen again.

“To do this, we will be canvassing the neighborhoods impacted by those fatal fires, making sure those homes have working smoke alarms.”

The Kokomo Fire Department announced Jan. 4 the cause of the Christmas Eve fire that took the lives of 10- and 12-year-old sisters was accidental, specifying the blaze started in the two-story home’s kitchen.

In a KFD press release, officials said no evidence of working, battery-operated smoke detectors was found by fire crews upon their arrival or during their operation at the residence at 908 N. Morrison St.

The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is a multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in home fires by half. The help of volunteers, corporations and community organizations is critical to ensure every home has working smoke alarms and an emergency escape plan.

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