Stories of People Helped by the Indiana Home Fire Campaign

Indiana Red Cross Home Fire Campaign

The Central Indiana Red Cross kicked off its Home Fire Campaign on October 8, 2014.

Volunteers and staff collaborated with the Indianapolis Fire Department and State Farm to canvass and install alarms in one Indianapolis neighborhood, and little did our partners know the lifesaving impact of that single installation event.

On February 11, 2015, Johnnie Mae Pannell was awakened by a loud beeping noise. She smelled smoke and realized her house was on fire. Fortunately, the alarm gave this grandmother, recovering from a recent stroke and having difficulty speaking and walking, enough time to get into her wheelchair and outside to safety.

Red Cross of Indiana Home Fire Campaign

New smoke alarms alert famly.

A month later, Michele Geis was alerted by the “Beep, beep, beep, beep” of her home’s smoke alarms to a fire on the second floor. As the flames and smoke quickly grew, Michele was able to gather her three small children: newborn Ben, two-year-old Lucy and three-year-old Joseph and run to her neighbors to call 9-1-1. To say this family is grateful would be an understatement: “Instead of just losing some of our belongings, we could have been going to a funeral this week…”

One event, 75 alarms installed, five lives saved.

Hear more of their stories.