TFD installs smoke alarms in neighborhood after deadly fire - Tucson News Now

TFD installs smoke alarms in neighborhood after deadly fire

Tucson Fire Department members install smoke alarms in homes Saturday (Source: Tucson News Now) Tucson Fire Department members install smoke alarms in homes Saturday (Source: Tucson News Now)
Tucson firefighters go door-to-door on the south side to install smoke alarms (Source: Tucson News Now) Tucson firefighters go door-to-door on the south side to install smoke alarms (Source: Tucson News Now)
This home burned, killing the man inside, near 36th Street and La Cholla Boulevard (Source: Tucson News Now) This home burned, killing the man inside, near 36th Street and La Cholla Boulevard (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

There was no warning, and no heads up, when Tucson Fire Department firefighters went rolling into a south side neighborhood over the weekend.

They were on a mission, with a plan to install safety measures. Specifically, they installed free smoke alarms from the department to the homes that needed them the most.

"We have 10,000 smoke detectors that we're installing throughout the city," said Tucson Fire Captain Larry Spiers. "We thought it was important to come through this neighborhood, especially when the fire death is fresh in the minds of all the people."

On Saturday, members of the department went door-to-door in the 2700 block of South Castle Drive. Less than a week before, on March 20, Captain Spiers was on the fateful 911 call. A home burned on this block, killing the man inside, near 36th Street and La Cholla Boulevard.

"We knew there were no working smoke detectors in this house," Spiers said with certainty. "We didn't hear them. Normally, we'll hear them if we roll up on a fire with any kind of smoke conditions. We'll hear the smoke detectors."

Then, within five days of the first fatal fire on March 24, a mobile home fire on North Romero near Flowing Wells claimed the life of a 68-year-old man and his cat . There were no working smoke alarms on the property, firefighters said.

The death of the man on South Castle Drive was enough to startle Norma Eisenstadt, who lives across the street. She showed Tucson News Now the old, disabled fire alarms as she placed them on her couch. New, fresh alarms were now up and installed in her home thanks to the firefighters.

According to statistics issued by the Tucson Fire Department, roughly 3 out of 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms, or homes where the alarms are not working. The National Fire Protection Association said you should replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

For someone like Eisenstadt, who has never been involved in a dangerous fire, these reminders are a blessing.

"We think that we're safe in our home, until something like this happens. So it shakes that safety that we have within us. It shakes it away," she said. "It makes you stop and think that maybe it could happen to me, or it could happen to another neighbor, and so we need to be prepared for those things."

Leading the charge, Captain Spiers wants to avoid the situation where there is no heads up, no warning, and it's a matter of life and death.

"Until you see a tragedy like this, then it's on the forefront of everyone's mind."

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