The American Red Cross home fire campaign has taken off all over the country as more and more families become prepared to prevent and react to home fire. It continues to be the number one disaster threat in country.
Although many of these campaigns have taken place in moderate to large cities, rural communities also need to be prepared by developing fire escape plans and updating non-functioning smoke alarms. The small town of Grygla, Minnesota (population 202) recently partnered with the Red Cross on a home fire campaign to canvass 85 homes in the community (98% of the homes in the town).
Seven Red Cross volunteers along with members of the Grygla Fire Department went door-to-door to install 127 smoke alarms in 53 homes that need them. 37 batteries were also replaced in existing smoke alarms in the homes.
“It was a very successful event and a lot of people were surprised to find out they needed new smoke alarms in their homes,” said Nancy Young, Red Cross Volunteer Leader. “This partnership with the city and county made a big impact on a smaller town.”
One of the Red Cross volunteers that participated in the campaign is Jeff Klonowski, who lost his home in an apartment fire in Hitterdal, Minnesota this past fall. That impacted him to the point where he wanted to help others become prepared.
“The Red Cross helped us so much after the fire we had,” Klonowski said. “I have seen the devastation they can cause so helping others prepare is a cool feeling.”
This is the first home fire campaign in northwest Minnesota and was collaboration of the Grygla Fire Department and Marshall County Emergency Manager, Josh Johnson.