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Local firefighters are making sure families are prepared in case of a fire

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Making sure homes have working smoke detectors.

Local firefighters are making sure families are prepared in case of a fire.

This push comes after a neighborhood tragedy.

Last week, a 23-year-old died in a fire in the same neighborhood.

Now firefighters are making sure it doesn't happen again.

The burned home still sits along Bonfield Place as a reminder of last week's tragedy.

It's causing South Bend firefighters to go door-to-door installing free smoke detectors.

“Typically we try to make sure we have one near the kitchen and at least one near the bedrooms in the home, so that way if an individual is asleep or if they are cooking, which tend to be the most frequent point areas in the home that we wind up having fire issues associated with,” said Chief Stephen Cox, South Bend Fire.

Cox says there is a program that gives the department free smoke detectors for local homeowners.

They install up to three alarms in each home.

Homeowner Crystal Cantu says her alarms needed updating.

“It's beneficial on my part because now I know that we are safe due to them helping us in such a situation,” said Cantu.

Cantu says checking smoke detectors is a chore that is often overlooked.

“With daily balances of life and work or anything else, the day goes by so fast that that is the first priority once you have fixed for your children and your house to be safe. But sometimes you don't get to it and one day to the next,” said Cantu.

Cox says adding new detectors help neighbors feel at ease after a tragic neighborhood fire.

“We know that when that type of incident happens, the folks that live in the neighborhood are a little more sensitive to that type of issue,” said Chief Cox.

The firefighters are expected to install several hundred detectors.

Thursday the group will be back out in that neighborhood to install smoke detectors.

If you missed the free detectors, the chief says to contact the station so they can come out and install detectors while you're at home.

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