Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross
Operation Save-A-Life Lives Up To Its Name x 12
10 young children and two adults escaped a home fire in Lorain, Ohio on December 26, 2015, fleeing from the home on West 17th Street after family members heard the shrill sound of smoke alarms.
The alarms had been installed just two-weeks earlier by Red Cross volunteers and members of the Lorain Fire Department during a Fire Safety Walk. Residents in the targeted neighborhood were offered valuable fire safety information along with free smoke alarms. It’s part of the Red Cross initiative to reduce the number of deaths from home fires by 25%.
The smoke alarms in the W. 17th Street home sounded close to 11:00 PM. Although most of the children were still awake, no one noticed the smoke coming from the heating ducts until they heard the alarms. Nicole King, mother of the children, credited the alarms for alerting her family, and recalled the discussion about having an escape plan. So did nine-year old Nigeria, who helped get his younger siblings out of the house and away from the danger, remembering to “get low and go.” Nicole’s mother was also able to escape unharmed.
Once all family members were accounted for outside the house, Nicole called 9-1-1, and firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire, which had started in the basement furnace. While damage to the home was minimal, the furnace was out of commission, and the Red Cross Disaster Team responded by providing the family with funding to pay for hotel rooms.
The 12 lives saved in Lorain are among the 69 lives credited to the Red Cross national Home Fire Campaign, launched in 2014 and modeled after Operation Save-A-Life, an initiative between the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the Red Cross and the city of Cleveland Division of Fire. Since its inception in 1992, more than 160,000 smoke alarms have been installed in homes in the city of Cleveland.
The 2 smoke alarms installed in the home on West 17th Street in Lorain last December are among more than 8,400 alarms that have been installed by the Red Cross and its community partners in the Northeast Ohio Region since July 1st, 2015.
There were no working smoke alarms in the home prior to that.
If you would like a home fire safety inspection, valuable fire safety information and free smoke alarms installed in your home, visit the Northeast Ohio Region Operation Save-A-Life website, and find the link to your county. Or click here for more information on how to volunteer, to help make your community safer.