"This is Us" sparks fire safety conversation

BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) - In the special episode of "This is Us" following the Super Bowl, viewers finally learned how Jack Pearson died.

The show revealed he died from a fire when smoke detectors weren't working. While many viewers found it emotional to watch on screen, similar tragedy has been taking place here in Baton Rouge.

Just a little over a month into the new year, East Baton Rouge Parish had 10 fire-related deaths on the year. This year has already surpassed the fire-related death toll from the previous few years.

"Until you've been there and had that heart beat and frustration and doing everything possible to save a life and you are not successful, it's a hurt and emotional trauma that most people will never endure," Baton Rouge Fire Department Chief Ed Smith.

The American Red Cross said an average of seven people die from a house fire every day and many of those deaths could be prevented by working smoke detectors.

"If you go to bed tonight and you're not assured that your smoke alarm is working, or you don't have a working smoke alarm at all in your home, I'm telling you don't go to bed," Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browning said.

Smoke alarms should be checked once a month and replaced once every 10 years.

"If you think your smoke detector is about 10 years old, we ask that you swap that out because we want everybody to be safe," Baton Rouge Fire Department public information officer Mark Miles said.

In response to the uptick in fire deaths, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome partnered with the American Red Cross and other agencies to install more than 1,000 fire alarms throughout the parish.

If you are in need of a smoke detector, call the mayor's office at 225-389-3100.



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