Berrien Springs firefighters receive grant for smoke detectors after fatal fire in 2011

Over the next couple of months, the Berrien Springs Fire Department will be working to create a community where all of the smoke detectors are working.

Recently the Berrien Springs Oronoko Fire Department received a grant to purchase more than two thousand smoke detectors.

Now twenty six firefighters will go house to house to either replace batteries in working detectors or replace detectors that are more than nine years old.

Of course they'll also install detectors in homes that don't have enough.

The department applied for the grant after a terrible fire back in November of 2011.

During the fire a three year old girl died even after the father tried to go back in to save her. Later on the only working smoke alarm was found in the kitchen drawer.

The dispatcher who took the call also works as a firefighter and decided to start this new project.

“I was really bothered by that,” says Berrien Springs Oronoko firefighter Lanny Duffel. “I have a small daughter, young son and it really hit home with me and I realized with the smoke detectors we have at the station here, they are not much use unless they get into the hands of the public.”

Besides putting in new smoke alarms the fire department also plans to meet with landlords soon. They want to make sure all rental units are up to code.

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