Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Northwest Illinois will be reunited tomorrow with the family who recently escaped a home fire thanks to the smoke alarms installed by Red Cross volunteers months earlier.
WHO: Red Cross volunteers who installed the smoke alarms Doreen McCullough, who escaped the fire
Joy Squier, American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois
Chief Communications Officer
WHAT: Reunion between Rockford woman and Red Cross volunteers who installed smoke alarms that helped save her life
WHERE: 3112 Bildahl Street, Rockford
WHEN: Friday, October 18, 2019 at 10:15AM
Early in the morning of September 3, 2019 Doreen McCullough’s Rockford home caught fire. Her 12-year-old daughter, Mikila, was the first to wake up thanks to the blaring sound of an upstairs smoke alarm. Mikila woke up Doreen and the rest of the family including her 25-year-old sister, Carmen, and father, Lial. The family rushed outside together, most without shoes on.
Soon the Rockford Fire Department arrived and put out the fire but deemed the home temporarily unlivable. Two local Red Cross volunteers, Scott Suma and Kate Rehak also arrived and assisted the family in navigating the confusing time following a home fire.
On May 11, 2019 two different volunteers with the Red Cross installed multiple smoke alarms in the McCullough home on Bildahl Street during a Red Cross “Sound the Alarm” smoke alarm installation event.
“Sound the Alarm” is part of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign initiative to install free smoke alarms in thousands of homes across the country, teach home fire safety and help families make home fire escape plans. Every day, seven people die in home fires, with most victims in homes that lack working smoke alarms. The Home Fire Campaign is working to improve the odds and save lives, and four lives were saved this September in Rockford thanks to working smoke alarms installed by the Red Cross.
In just five years, our installation events have accomplished so much across the country including the installation of more than 1.8 million smoke alarms and preparing more than 1 million people against home fires. People who don’t have smoke alarms or need them checked can sign up for an appointment by going to www.getasmokealarm.org.
- PRACTICE YOUR PLAN AND TEST YOUR ALARMS For free home fire safety resources, visit redcross.org/homefires or download the free Red Cross Emergency App (search “American Red Cross” in app stores).
- Include at least two ways to get out of each room in your home fire escape plan.
- Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone can meet.
- Practice your escape plan until everyone can get out in two minutes or less.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, placing them inside and outside bedrooms, and sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms monthly, and change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it.
About the American Red Cross of Northwest Illinois:
The American Red Cross of Northwest Illinois serves 700,000 people in 10 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago. 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 us at www.redcross.org/Il/Rockford or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.