Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Detectors Given to Fire Victims' Neighbors Firefighters Canvassed Street with Message That Small Device Saves Lives

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Detectors Given to Fire Victims' Neighbors Firefighters Canvassed Street with Message That Small Device Saves Lives

Article excerpt

Firefighters installed more than 30 smoke detectors yesterday in the West 17th Street neighborhood where a recent house fire claimed the lives of a Jacksonville woman and her 9-year-old son.

While firefighters went door-to-door, limousines traversed the area's streets on the way to the funeral of Terri Ann Leath, 31, and her son Brian, who died from smoke inhalation Aug. 10 after being transported to Shands Jacksonville hospital.

"If we can through this effort just save one life . . . then the whole thing is worth it," Fire Chief Ray Alfred told the firefighters who participated in the effort.

It is standard procedure to canvass the surrounding area after a serious fire, said Roscoe Hager, acting public information officer for the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department. "After fatalities or serious injuries, we always try to come back around within a week to two weeks," Hager said.

Firefighters surveyed an area stretching one block in each direction from the site of the fire at 2128 W. 17th St., a house that fire officials say did not have a operational smoke detector.

Acting Lt. Chip Drysdale estimated that half of the houses he visited did not have smoke detectors. A firefighter for 17 years, Drysdale said he has never responded to a fatal fire where the house had a working detector.

Smoke detectors especially are crucial in houses that have metal security bars on doors or windows, said Lorin Mock, fire department division chief of operations.

"Clearly, if you are going to put burglar bars up, a smoke detector is the most important thing," he said. Many of the houses in the neighborhood firefighters visited yesterday have security bars on their doors and windows -- barriers that fire officials say impeded their efforts to rescue the victims of the Aug. 9 fire.

In addition to installing new smoke detectors, the firefighters distributed written material on fire prevention and home evacuation methods. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.