Two survive fire after smoke alarm push

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Early on October 29, Valcon Carmel awoke with his grandson.

Their home was on fire.

“We woke up through the alarm,” Carmel said. “A bunch of smoke. And I grabbed ahold of him, wrapped him in covers and got out of the house.”

The smoke alarm that woke Carmel and his grandson had been installed by volunteers in April 2016 as part of a collaboration blitz between the Springfield Fire Department and the Red Cross’s Sound the Alarm campaign.

“That day, on April 28, 2016, we installed 220 smoke alarms provided by the American Red Cross in 150 homes throughout the Enos Park neighborhood and over into the Pillsbury neighborhood,” said Chris Richmond, with the Springfield Fire Department.

Those alarms include built-in batteries and last a decade, Richmond said.

“When that ten-year period is up, it’ll beep with an alarm,” Richmond said. “That’s when you take that alarm off the ceiling or wherever it’s mounted, get a new alarm and put it in place.”

People who need smoke alarms can schedule appointments to have them installed through the Red Cross or the Springfield Fire Department.

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