By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
January 16, 2014
Officials with the Kansas City Fire Department partnered with the American Red Cross this afternoon to canvass the area near St. John and Topping following a Jan. 4 fire that took the life of 54-year-old Clyde Finley.
In the first time since the fire department has been doing this, members of the victim’s family were on hand as well to help spread the word about the importance of having a working smoke detector in the house.
“We’re still in shock that Clyde didn’t have the smoke detectors working,” said Debbie Finley, a sister of the victim. “That’s not how we grew up.”
Finley’s sister Sheila Hart was also present, as was Finley’s mother, Nancy, who carried a large portrait of her late son as they walked along the streets to distribute fire safety information to residents living within a two-block radius of the fire.
Chief Fire Marshall Floyd Peoples noted one of the most important things to remember is to develop a fire exit strategy from your home.
“EDITH,” short for Exit Drill In The Home, “is one of the most important things you can do to increase your chances of survival in a fire,” Peoples said. “That and a working smoke detector.”
According to Red Cross staffer JoAnn Woody, roughly 600 packets were distributed today, all containing important information on how to get free smoke detectors as well as fire prevention information from the American Red Cross.
“This part of our community outreach after a fire is so important,” said Woody. “It really helps the community to know there’s somewhere that low income residents and senior citizens can go to get free smoke detectors.”
Photos by Michael Bushnell