WARREN - Several fires over the past year, including one said to be the deadliest in the citys history, prompted Warren firefighters to introduce a program that will use citizen donations to place smoke alarms in at-risk homes.
Officials from Warren city, the fire department and sponsor agencies gathered Wednesday at 911 Landsdowne Ave., the site of a June 2011 house fire in which six people died.
Fire Lt. Chuck Eggleston said a common theme in such tragedies, where young children and senior citizens are among the victims, is the lack of a working smoke alarm.
"Notification of a potential tragedy in a timely manner would certainly help prevent such senseless loss of life and property," Eggleston said.
The Save-A-Life-Smoke Alarm- SALSA - initiative uses donations from individuals and businesses to adopt families to receive free smoke alarms, to be installed by community volunteers.
Smoke alarm applications will be distributed in the community, he said. Low-income families in need of alarms will be matched with individuals or businesses who would make a donation of $45, Eggleston said.
Donations will provide three tamper-resistant smoke alarms that will contain a battery designed to operate the alarm for up to 10 years.
Fire Chief Ken Nussle said,"This effort will help in saving lives."
Mayor Doug Franklin said, "No words can express the sorrow our city and community feels for the family that was devastated by this horrible tragedy.Yet, even out of such a tragedy, a glimmer of light can be seen... We learn the means to avoid tragedies by programs like this."
Safety-Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa said the program is an "invaluable effort to help save lives and prevent future tragedies."
To sign up, call the fire department at 330-774-3951.