Firefighters install smoke alarms in Overland Park block where fire displaced residents

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Overland Park Firefighters went door to door near 95th and Nieman, offering to install smoke alarms.

That's the area where a fire broke out Sunday morning. Crews learned there weren't any working smoke alarms in the building where it happened.

The new installations also happen to coincide with the start of National Fire Safety Week.

"They need to have working smoke alarms," said Tricia Roberts, a public education specialist with Overland Park Fire Department. "They need to test the batteries once a month. Replace the batteries at least once a year, and then replace the entire alarm every 10 years."

Roberts said the 10-year replacement rule is a surprise for most people.

Jacqueline Monroe got new alarms and smart burners for her stove from the fire department. The added safety means the world to her.

"I lost a niece and nephew last year," Monroe said.

In August 2017, Monroe's 5-year-old nephew and 2-year-old niece, Henry Jr. and Alexis, died in a fire at 87th and Metcalf. The fire chief said their apartment building didn't have working smoke detectors.

The fire Sunday just a couple units down from Monroe was painful.

"I felt like I was going probably though PTSD, and I didn't want to imagine nobody made it out," Monroe said. "So I just was kind of like, 'OK, I don`t hear screaming.' So that put me at ease."

With memories of the little ones she lost close to her heart, Monroe is thankful for the fire department's concern.

"I think that is a wonderful thing and a wonderful gesture and I`m appreciative," Monroe said.