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Red Cross Gives Smoke Alarms To West Tulsa Residents

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A Red Cross worker installs a smoke detector Friday morning. A Red Cross worker installs a smoke detector Friday morning.
The organization is focusing on west Tulsa where a house fire earlier this week injured five. The organization is focusing on west Tulsa where a house fire earlier this week injured five.
TULSA, Oklahoma - More homes in west Tulsa have the protection of a smoke detector now; that's one result of a fire that left five people injured on Monday, February 2, 2015.

The Tulsa Fire Department can't say for sure what started this fire, but they do know why it wasn't noticed faster - there was an apparently dead smoke alarm in the house.

As it was, they all had to be pulled out of the fire and nearly died.

Two teams from the American Red Cross started walking the neighborhood Friday, looking for homes without smoke detectors and offering to install them for free.

It's done with volunteers from Target, and Target is donating the smoke alarms.

They want to make sure that everyone has one - and realizes - they're easily available for free from the Red Cross, and the Fire Department, so they're going door to door and asking if they can check for an alarm - and install one if they need it.

2/5/2015 Related Story: Neighbor's 911 Call Leads To Rescue Of Family From Tulsa House Fire

Ryan Harris says he and his roommate have been living in the house for almost two years, without the protection of a smoke detector.

Now he has three.

"It's a really great thing; I don't know what we would have done," he said.

In addition to the most common and inexpensive kind of detector, the volunteers had new 10-year, no maintenance detectors for people who might have trouble changing the battery.

The volunteers canvassed three full blocks, more than 100 homes and installed 16 detectors in homes that didn't have them.

They also checked and found one that wasn't working.

The victims from the fire are 11-month-old Chloe, 3-year-old Aiden, 7-year-old Raiden, 24-year-old Stephanie Spence, and 22-year-old Darrin Lane.

Raiden and Stephanie were the two most severely injured.

Neighbors of the family are gathering up donations to help them replace what they lost - which was practically everything except their lives.

The Red Cross hopes their outreach in the neighborhood prevents another loss like this.

"Having a plan to get out is also part of it, what do you do when you hear the smoke detector go off? That's part of what we're doing, but you have to have a working smoke detector, at least one, up to two or three in each home," said Laurie Summers of the American Red Cross.

You can call 918-831-1298 to talk to the American Red Cross about their free smoke alarm program.

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