If you’ve followed the RedCrossENY blog for some time now, you’ve probably seen a lot about our Home Fire Campaign over the last few years. Since October 2014, we’ve been hard at work building partnerships and providing resources to help reduce fire-related deaths and injuries by 25% over a five year period.

We’re about half-way through that five years now, and we’ve confirmed that 14 lives in Eastern New York have been saved by our efforts!

  • 2 Lives Saved, Utica, NY:
    In December 2015, two people safely escaped an apartment building thanks to the sound of smoke alarms next door. No one was home in the apartment where the fire started, but smoke alarms installed there several months earlier were loud enough to alert the neighbors to the danger. The Utica Fire Department credited the smoke alarms installed by the Red Cross with allowing two residents “to act quickly and evacuate the building.”
  • 3 Lives Saved, Essex County, NY:
    Smoke alarms alerted a family of three to a fire in their home around 2:00 a.m. in mid-November 2016. The alarms, which had been installed during an in-home visit from the Red Cross on April 1, 2016, allowed the family to escape their home unharmed. Red Cross volunteers Catrina Scott-Becker and Edna Quesnel made up the team that conducted the in-home visit and installed the lifesaving alarms.
  • 2 Lives Saved, Poughkeepsie, NY:
    Around 3:00 a.m. in the middle of a March 2017 snowstorm, a couple safely evacuated their residence during a home fire. They credited the fire escape plan and education they received during an in-home visit from the Red Cross on October 15, 2016 with saving their lives. Red Cross workers Mallory Scheve, Angelika Klapputh, and Tom Lindberg made up the team that conducted this visit and provided the lifesaving education, in addition to free smoke alarms.
  • 7 Lives Saved, Gansevoort, NY:
    Overnight in late March 2017, seven residents (including three children) made it safely out of their home during a fire. Just a few months earlier, Red Cross workers had visited and installed free smoke alarms. They also helped create a fire escape plan for the household, which the residents credited with helping all seven people escape from the fire. Red Cross volunteers Jenner Alarcon and Warren Lavery made up the team that conducted the in-home visit and provided the lifesaving tools and resources.
Red Cross worker Angelika Klapputh hugs a Poughkeepsie woman who safely escaped her home during a fire, thanks to the education Angelika provided during a Home Fire Campaign event on October 15, 2016.

Across the country, at least 235 lives have been saved by the efforts of Red Cross volunteers and community partners involved in the Home Fire Campaign. And this is only a count of those lives we know for sure were impacted by this program.

Here in Eastern New York, we’ve been able to verify the stories above because we were with these families after the fire, too. While these 14 individuals escaped home fires without physical harm, they lost almost everything they owned. In each case, Red Cross volunteers were there to provide care and comfort, along with financial resources to help each family get back on their feet.

As you can see, the Home Fire Campaign is literally saving lives, and it’s a very special thing to be a part of. There are lots of ways that you can get involved, so please consider joining us! Visit redcross.org/eny/homefires to learn more.