Marmaduke Fire Department starts smoke detector installations

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

MARMADUKE, AR (KAIT) - Over the next several weeks, Marmaduke firefighters will open  boxes full of smoke alarms.

"They are very important, they will save lives if they work properly," said Marmaduke Assistant Fire Chief, Matt Pruett.

Thousands of dollars in grant money allowed the department to buy 900 of them.

"We're going to put two in every house in the city limits, said Pruett.

Assistant Fire Chief Matt Pruett says before applying for the grant, the department did a year long survey.  At each fire they went to, they asked if there were working smoke alarms in the home.

"After the year review was over, it showed about 90 percent of all houses did not have a smoke detector in working order," said Pruett.

It prompted Pruett and other fire officials to take action.  Over the next several weeks volunteer firefighters will go door to door -- not just delivering, but installing these smoke detectors.

"I said great, I was just happy that they were doing it," said Bonnie Smith.

Marmaduke resident Bonnie Smith is one of the first to get two brand new smoke detectors.  Smith says she knows the hazards of a house fire.

"I almost died in a house fire--barely did get out before it caved in," said Smith.

Memories from childhood that make her thankful for these gifts.

"I'm just happy that everybody is going to have some smoke alarms," said Smith.

"It's sad that there's not that many smoke detectors in houses, but hopefully we can get out there and remedy that," said fire chief, Nicki McDowell.

Getting not only these smoke detectors, but handouts with even more information about safety and having a plan in the event a fire strikes.

"If one of them works to alert one person, it's worth everything for us to put them up," said Pruett.

The department does have some grant money left over and officials hope to buy more educational tools about fire safety.  Assistant Chief Pruett says those firefighters installing the detectors will be going door to door.  They will be in marked fire department vehicles and either in uniforms or something that says Marmaduke Fire Department.

If you have any questions, you can call city hall.  Installations are expected to take about a month city wide.

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