Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Ascension firefighters install free smoke alarms after trailer fire kills 2 boys

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ASCENSION PARISH - Firefighters in Ascension Parish went door to door with dozens of free smoke detectors in tow. Ella Emerson gladly let them in.

"Since they offered to give us this I didn't see any reason why we shouldn't," she said.

It was a relief for Emerson, who like many people, put off maintaining her device.

"Nobody really expects their house to catch on fire. They really don't. You see it happening all the time, but you never think it's going to happen to you," she explailns.

But only miles from her home, tragedy struck on Christmas Eve.

Four-year-old Kevin Porter and his 6-year-old brother Dimanie Elder died after the trailer they lived in went up in smoke.

Investigators say it was most likely caused by a space heater, and there were no working smoke detectors inside to warn them.

"I believe if they had smoke detectors in that home, it would be a different story today," says Fifth Ward Fire Chief Peter Roblin.

As this neighborhood continues to heal, many seem to be learning from the unspeakable loss of two young boys who didn't get the chance to see Christmas Day.

"It's important. I mean I have a child. I have my daughter and my granddaughter. They're important to me," said Emerson.

Fire fighters plan to continue installing the free fire detectors over the next few months.


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