Each year, the Red Cross responds to an average of more than 60,000 disasters, the vast majority of which are home fires.  So we set a goal to reduce fire-related death and injuries in the US by 25% with our Home Fire Campaign  

Home fires claim seven lives every day impacting children and the elderly the most but having working smoke alarms can cut the risk of death by half.  

Together with our community  partners, we have been working throughout our region to install free smoke alarms and provide fire safety education to our most vulnerable and at-risk populations. Carl and Loretta Kruger’s story is inspirational and shows the critical importance  of our work.   

Carl and Loretta Kruger learned about the Red Cross Home Fire campaign at a community event for seniors and signed up for free smoke alarms. Little did they know that their action that day would save their lives. 

Carl and Loretta are high school sweethearts and have been married for 61 years. They called their house in Red Hook , New York home  for over 50 years. When a  devastating fire ripped through  their home in June , the sound of the smoke alarms woke them. Carl and Loretta knew exactly what to do.  They ran to safety and watched their beloved home burn to the ground with all of their belonging. 

The Red Cross and community partner  Rebuilding Together Dutchess County had joined together to install these free alarms in the Kruger home  earlier in the year.  Volunteers installed the alarms and met with the Kruger’s to review essential fire safety information .   

Although they lost everything in the fire , Carl and Loretta are so grateful to be alive and to have each other. Strong and resilient the Kruger’s are on the road to recovery and will find a new place to call home. 

Carl and Loretta share their story in the hopes to encourage others to make sure they gave working smoke alarms.  They know first-hand they save lives.  ” We want to express our appreciation for this program, it basically saved our lives. ”