Clearwater Fire, Red Cross team up to provide residents with smoke detectors

Pinellas County

CLEARWATER, Fla (WFLA) – Clearwater Fire Rescue is teaming up with the American Red Cross to make sure residents of Clearwater have working smoke detectors following a fatal fire last week.

Last Monday, Clearwater firefighters responded to a house fire on Claire Drive that claimed the life of a 91-year-old man. Investigators said the fire was caused by a lit cigarette in a trashcan. There was no working smoke detector inside the house.

“We had a great response time, but unfortunately we were too late because the smoke had taken the life of this individual,” Clearwater Fire Rescue Fire Chief Scott Ehlers said.

Clearwater firefighters teamed up with the American Red Cross on Tuesday to try and prevent this type of tragedy from happening again by making sure residents have working smoke detectors.

“That early detection of a smoke detector providing that resident that info that they something is wrong, and you need to get out of the house is detrimental,” added Fire Chief Ehlers.

According to the Red Cross, smoke detectors can reduce the risk of loss of life in house fires.

“We know that most houses that have a working smoke alarm have a dramatically increased chance of survival if they were to have a house fire,” said Axl David with the American Red Cross of Tampa Bay.

Both Clearwater Fire Rescue and the American Red Cross gave out and installed 36 smoke detectors in 21 homes today during their collaborative effort.

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