Rosebud: Fire strikes home just after new smoke detector is installed

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ROSEBUD, Texas (KWTX) - A Rosebud couple is back in their home after a fire last week that came just after the American Red Cross installed a free smoke detector in their house.

(Rosebud Fire Dept. Photo)

Red Cross volunteers and the Rosebud Fire Department went door to door installing 10 year smoke alarms that are free to homeowners.

Gary Pervis and his wife weren't home when the kitchen of their Rosebud rental went up in flames, but they're still thankful for the Red Cross.

The non-profit provided a place for them to stay while their home was cleared of damage.

“Somewhere across the United States we have a home fire every eight minutes that we respond to.” Volunteer Donald Sheppard says.

“They’ve been great to us. [The Red Cross] saved us a lot.” Pervis said.

The irony of a fire at a home where a detector was just installed, shows how much they're needed, and Sheppard knows firsthand about the role they play.

“I've been a volunteer firefighter for a big part of my life, so I understand the importance of the smoke alarms and that they do save lives and they will save lives.” Sheppard said.

He spent more than 20 years with the Cameron Fire Department before retiring and volunteering with the Red Cross.

He uses his experience to educate the public during the free smoke alarm events.

“We go over how to prepare and train and practice for escapes from the home in case the alarms go off.” Sheppard explains.

Changing uniforms along the way he’s just happy to be making a difference.

“It makes it a rewarding experience to be a volunteer and to get out there and to do what you can to help others.”