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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office


Des Moines, IOWA --- Late last night State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds received notice that 12 people safely escaped two different fires, all because of the life-saving sound of working smoke detectors.  Within hours of each other, Carroll Fire Department and Burlington Fire Department reported multiple children and two adults survived two home fires over the weekend.

Carroll Fire Department was called to a house fire located at 121 South Carroll Street at 3:16 a.m., early Saturday morning, February 5, 2011.  A mother and four young children were home sleeping at the time when smoke detectors started sounding.  Everyone got out of the house safely.  The fire was contained to the kitchen, but the kitchen did have heavy fire damage.   

Just two hours later, at 5:45 a.m., the Burlington Fire Department responded to 807 S. 9th Street on report of smoke in a house with smoke alarms sounding.  Upon arrival there was heavy black smoke coming from the front door.  Firefighters found a free burning fire in the basement.  The fire originated in the clothes dryer.  The female occupant of the rented single family home stated that she was awakened by smoke alarms and then smelled the smoke.  She alerted the six children, ages 16, 16, 14, 11, four, and one staying in the house.  One of the six children was a friend spending the night.  Everyone exited safely and without injury.

State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds says, “It is an unusually high number of people saved in such a short time.  I’m very pleased that we were able to count lives saved today and not lives lost.  I hope this shows the public the value smoke alarms have in saving lives.”

The total number of lives saved by smoke alarms in 2011 is 27.  Have you checked your smoke alarm today?


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