Nacogdoches firefighters, Red Cross hand out smoke detectors

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - More Nacogdoches residents have brand-new smoke alarms in their home thanks to a partnership between the American Red Cross and the Nacogdoches Fire Department.

If a homeowner already has a smoke detector they want it to be working.

"Important to check the smoke detector," said Captain Chris Walker. "To make sure it's working."

Homeowner A.W. Hunt now has two working smoke detectors. They were installed Friday by Nacogdoches firefighters.

"It's a good idea to have a smoke detector," Hunt said.

At least two lifesaving alarms, designed to last 10 years, are offered to residents free of charge. Just days into the home fire campaign, American Red Cross Community volunteer leader Mike Butchko discovered he needed to place another order.

"I asked for another 100," Butchko said. "We have 35 homes on the waiting list."

Similar Red Cross programs are going on in almost 2,000 cities and towns across all 50 states. The ambitious campaign aims to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years.

"You have about two minutes to get out of a house, once there is a house fire," Butchko said. "And we have had 11 families burned out of their homes this calendar year in Nacogdoches alone. Lufkin has had more than twice that, so we believe that we make a difference and we can save lives by doing this program."

Hunt, a World War II veteran, says smoke detectors just make good sense.

"There's no reason why a person shouldn't put one in," Hunt said. "I wouldn't live in a house that didn't have one."

The American Red Cross is receiving referrals from Love In The Name of Christ and the Nacogdoches Senior Center. Other requests can be made at the Red Cross office in Nacogdoches City Hall or at the Nacogdoches Fire Department.

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