FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 18, 2020) – The Florida Gulf Coast to Heartland Chapter of the American Red Cross announces two lives saved after installing free smoke alarms in a home that experienced a home fire, which saved the family’s life.
On the morning of Jan. 5, the North Fort Myers Fire Department responded to a mobile home fire in North Fort Myers, Fla., where the homeowner, William R. “Bill” Millican and his wife were able to escape their home, after alerted by their smoke alarms.
Thanks to the assistance of nearby neighbors, they were able to evacuate safely. Unfortunately, after the fire department extinguished the fire, their home was beyond repair. The following day, the Red Cross was called to provide emergency assistance and recovery planning to Bill and his wife as they plan their next steps.
This was not the first time, Bill and his wife came in contact with the Red Cross.
Almost a year and a half ago on Dec.16, 2018, Red Cross volunteers visited Bill’s home to install smoke alarms as part of Red Cross’ Home Fire Campaign. A home fire safety initiative that focuses on making homes safer and educating individuals about fire safety to help reduce home fire injuries and deaths.
That day, Bill and his wife had three new smoke alarms installed in their home. In addition, many other families in North Fort Myers received new smoke alarms and home fire safety education throughout the month of December. As a result, more than 45 free smoke alarms were installed in 20 homes that month.
“Smoke alarms save lives and we are proud to be able to provide high-risk communities the tools and resources to be safe during emergencies, like home fires” shares Jill Palmer, executive director for the chapter. “Most people do not realize that you have less than 2 minutes to escape your home. Having working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan are vital for a positive outcome. We are grateful that the Millicans made it out safely.”
The nationwide Home Fire Campaign was launched by the Red Cross in 2014, to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. To date, the campaign has reached more than 2 million people and saved 723 lives across the country.
As part of the campaign, the Red Cross asks every household to talk with their loved ones about fire safety and take two simple steps: Check your smoke alarms monthly and practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year.
For additional information on fire safety and resources, including a home fire escape plan, visit redcross.org/homefires.
GET INVOLVED The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its humanitarian mission, especially during this public health emergency. To support our lifesaving work, please consider volunteering or making a donation by visiting redcross.org/southflorida, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting CORONAVIRUS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/southflorida or visit us on Facebook or Twitter at @SFLRedCross.