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Donated smoke alarm saves Yarnell couple from flames

Posted at 12:23 PM, Mar 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-22 15:31:52-04

Decades of mementos may have gone up in flames, but an Arizona couple is alive to create new memories thanks to a smoke alarm donated and installed by the American Red Cross.

Rita-Kay Perdue were getting ready for bed with her husband Larry when she heard beeping. At first, she thought it was the microwave. Turns out, the incessant beep was actually a life-saving call from the smoke detector.

Rita recalls, "I opened that door to the sunroom, and, I mean, it was just so full of smoke."

The couple immediately got out of the home and called for the fire department. Safely outside, all they could do was watch their home go up in flames. 

Larry says, "It's a helpless feeling. What are you going to do? Everything you own, everything you'd had for years is gone."

As bad as it was, Larry knows it could have been so much worse with the smoke detector installed by the American Red Cross as part of its "Sound the Alarm, Save a Life program."

"I'm going to be very honest with you. I really feel we could have been in trouble."

The Red Cross is about to install even more smoke alarms, but they need help to do it. If you would like to volunteer your time installing alarms in homes during their next even on Saturday, March 31st, click here.