Smoke detector drive heats up

    Decatur Assistant Fire Chief Jim Hitchcock says that by the first part of next week, the city fire department will have smoke detectors for use by county residents.
    Anyone who needs a smoke detector may visit the fire station on Seventh St., just off Adams St., or call the department, 724-8909.
    Hitchcock noted, however, that the detectors will not be given to anyone. "Instead, we will take them to the home and install them to be sure they are installed properly," he said.
    Firefighters also will be happy to come to a home or business and look over its smoke detector(s) to make sure they are in working order, he added.
    Hitchcock said the campaign has been fueled by donations from Star Insurance, First Bank of Berne, Hoosier Pattern, the VFW men's auxiliary, and Walmart. In addition, BungeNorth America is in the process of making a contribution and Dolco Packaging is donating batteries for those who need batteries and not detectors.
    "This will be an ongoing process that we will periodically announce to try to get the public to check their detectors," Hitchcock told city council at its meeting this week.
    The campaign was launched by the fire department in response to five fire deaths in the city and nearby area within a couple of years.