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Lake City volunteers to bring detectors

Effort aims to prevent deadly blazes in wake of fatal fire in November

December 11, 2012
By BILL SHEA ( , Messenger News

LAKE CITY - Volunteers will be visiting every home in Lake City Saturday armed with smoke detectors, fire safety information and the desire to prevent another fiery tragedy in the community.

Dubbed the Pierson-Kraft Smoke Alarm Project, the effort to make sure every home has a smoke detector is named after the family which lost four members in a Nov. 13 fire at 703 S. Illinois St.

''The family is behind it,'' Lake City Fire Chief Mel Alcox said Monday. ''They support it 100 percent.''

Article Photos

Lake City Fire Chief Mel Alcox surveys the scene of a house fire at 703 S. Illinois St. in Lake City Nov. 13. The fire claimed the lives of three children: an 8-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 10-month-old baby and a 22-year-old woman.

He said members of the family appreciate the fact that the initiative may prevent anyone else from suffering the same loss that they did.

The blaze last month claimed the lives of Tyra Pierson, 22; Madison Pierson, 8; Wyatt Pierson, 3; and Xavier Pierson, who was 10 months old.

Tyra, Madison and Wyatt Pierson were the children of Tony Pierson and Kim Kraft. Xavier Pierson was the son of Tyra Pierson.

Tony Pierson and Kraft were working overnight shifts in Carroll when the early morning fire started.

Alcox said there were no smoke detectors in the house.

The fire was discovered by a police officer on patrol. Intense flames prevented firefighters from getting into the house to put out the fire and rescue the people.

A problem with an electrical cord caused the blaze.

The American Red Cross and the office of State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds launched the project, according to Alcox.

''They came in and said we need to do a smoke detector canvass that will give people a little peace of mind,'' he said.

Volunteers will knock on every door in the city of about 1,700 people and ask if there is a working smoke detector in the home. If the volunteers find a home without such an alarm, they will install one of 500 donated for the effort by Kidde Fire Safety of Mebane, N.C.

The volunteers will also provide some information on fire safety.

''We're going to talk to people about getting out of the house in an emergency if they have to,'' Alcox said. ''You have to have a plan to do that and you have to practice it.''

Volunteers for the effort will come from as far away as Decorah, according to the fire chief.

''The Pierson-Kraft Smoke Alarm Project day is the first step to building resiliency in a community shattered by fire,'' Reynolds said in a written statement. ''We are working with the family to spread the message of fire prevention and safety out into the community. This one-day project will make an impact in this community to help save lives.''



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