After fatal fire, Akron Red Cross installs free smoke alarms throughout city

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AKRON, OH - Fire investigators were back at the scene of a deadly fire that killed a family of four early Saturday morning. Despite a definitive answer as to what caused the fire, the Red Cross has been flooded with phone calls from families worried about their safety.

"It could be anyone of my members, their children it could also be us," said local pastor Rodney Bowdon, who called the Red Cross for help.

Tuesday, the Red Cross and members of the Akron Fire Department went door to door along East Tallmadge Avenue installing free smoke alarms. They found a disturbing tend, many were putting batteries in alarms that have been expired for decades.

"We're pulling alarms out of homes that are over 30 years old," said Rachel D'Attoma the executive director of the Red Cross Summit County chapter.

One of Bowdon's alarms had been expired since 2001. D'Attoma says it's common for people to just put new batteries into old alarms. In order to check the date of your smoke alarm look at the back panel. If you can't find one your model is likely expired. The Red Cross says it's working to install more smoke alarms in the future in order to prevent another tragedy.

"Really sparked individuals to say, 'Hey we should really check our alarms to make sure our family is safe this holiday season,'" said Rachel D'Attoma.

If you need a smoke detector call your local Red Cross chapter.

More on the Akron fire, here.