Spanish Lake Fire District, Red Cross teaming up for smoke detector blitz

SPANISH LAKE, MO (KPLR) – The Spanish Lake Fire Protection District is teaming up with the American Red Cross for a smoke detector blitz through the community Tuesday.

"The Red Cross is showing up tomorrow. They’re going to show up with 375 smoke detectors," said Fire Captain Dave Dubowski. "We’re going to knock door-to-door and as many houses that we can hit and however many folks we can help tomorrow, that’s what we’re going to start with.”

The blitz comes just days after an elderly man was killed in a fire on Criterion Street in Spanish Lake. Together with volunteers from the Red Cross, the Spanish Lake Fire District hopes their canvassing will prevent future worst case scenarios.

"It’s the difference between life and death," said Dubowski. "Between you and your family escaping that house fire when the smoke detector goes off.”

Officials want Spanish Lake residents to know about the blitz happening Tuesday afternoon so they can take advantage of the free, life-saving tools.

"They’ll make fire escape plans, we’ll ask them to do a drill, practice it twice a month, so the family knows instinctively what to do if there's a fire" said Peggy Barnhart, American Red Cross.

While Tuesday's blitz is concentrated on the Spanish Lake community, Dubowski said the message of having a working smoke detector applies to people all over.

"That’s the big thing-working smoke detectors" said Dubowski. "You can have as many smoke detectors you want in the house but if they don’t have a battery in them or they’re expired, that’s not going to do you any good.”

Dubowski said residents should frequently test their smoke detectors.