Recent Fire A Reminder of the Importance of Smoke Alarms

Anyone in need of a smoke detector can get one delivered and installed for free by the Ouachita Parish Fire Department.
Thursday night 56-year-old Charlotte Gill was asleep on her couch when it caught fire, according to officials.

She woke up seriously burned and ran into her bathroom where investigators say she sadly succumbed to smoke.

Curt Meachum with the Ouachita Parish Fire Department says,"There were no smoke detectors in the home, and she was asleep. They probably would have made a difference or led to a different outcome."

The Ouachita Parish Fire Department says this is a terrible situation they come across all too often.

They say a smoke detector could have alerted Gill to the fire before it was too late to get out of the home safely.

"We have had about 20 fire deaths in the past 10 to 12 years. None of them have had working smoke detectors. That is the common thing we see in our department and all across the country," says Meachum. 

The fire department says they have a program providing community members with smoke detectors.

Anyone needing the life saving devices can call the Ouachita Parish Fire Department at (318) 343-1122 and leave their name, address and phone number with the department.

The department will arrange a time to come out to install the smoke detectors for free.

Meachum says,"A working smoke detector is the first and foremost thing of importance when it comes to fire safety. Next to that would be to have a plan. What do you do when the smoke detector goes off? How are you going to escape the home?"

An escape plan and a working smoke detector are simple things the fire department says people can do to avoid a tragic situation.

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