11 people have died in Richmond fires so far this year

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With National Fire Prevention week underway, the Richmond Fire Department is urging you to stay prepared.

So far this year, 11 people have died in eight incidents across the city.

According to a presentation given by Fire Chief Melvin Carter, six of those homes didn’t have working smoke alarms. A majority of the victims were older or senior individuals.

Several of the victims lived in homes with evidence of hoarding conditions.

Related coverage: Fire chief shares safety tips after rash of deadly house fires

To help curb fatalities, the department has canvassed more than 15,000 homes across the city and installed more than 400 smoke alarms since May.

They’re urging the public to do the same.

“We cannot do this alone,” Earl Dyer, Richmond fire marshal said. “The greater burden falls on you, the public. To be more vigilant, to be more aware of [your] surroundings, and for you to protect those you love. Having a working smoke alarm is a small price to pay for your life.”

Dyer says the department will also host a series of community engagement meetings on fire safety. If you want to have a smoke alarm installed, call the department’s request line at (804)-646-1526.

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