After deadly fire in KC house without working smoke alarms, firefighters hit the streets

KANSAS CITY, Mo --A house fire Sunday night claimed the life of a 2-year-old child. There were no working smoke detectors in the house, and that could have contributed to the child’s death.

That tragic loss inspired Kansas City firefighters to hit the streets to prevent the same sort of tragedy from happening again.

KCFD firefighters spent Thursday walking around the neighborhood where Sunday’s fatal fire took place, near 102nd and Wheeling Avenue, leaving fire safety information door hangers at 150 homes in the neighborhood. They also gave away and installed free smoke detectors to avoid the same sort of tragedy from happening to another family.

“It’s not the glorious part of the job with the career, the picture of the firefighter with somebody over their shoulder,” Deputy Chief Jimmy Walker said. “But it’s a very important part of our job, and we definitely take it very serious.”

Having working smoke detectors improves your chances of surviving a house fire by 50%. Walker said last year, 12 people died and 74 were injured in structure fires in Kansas City, Missouri.

“If we take off national stats, you’re talking probably six people last year died as a result of not having a smoke detector in Kansas City, Missouri, alone,” Walker said.

Shawn Mitchell just installed a brand new, high-tech, hard-wired alarm system in her home, including smoke detectors. She invited KCFD in to make sure they were working.

Firefighters couldn't figure out how to test the new high-tech alarms, so they installed two they had as back-up if her system fails.

“I appreciate it. So now I know that me and my daughter are safe, and we really don’t have much to worry about," Mitchell said.

FOX4 is working for you, along with the American Red Cross and the Kansas City Fire Department. We've launched the annual "Sound the Alarm, Save a Life" campaign. The goal is to give out and install 600 smoke alarms throughout the metro.

The Red Cross helps people who lose everything in fires, and by installing smoke alarms they hope fewer people will need their services. You can register online here or call (816) 841-5204.

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