Pennsylvania had more deadly house fires than any other state last year, and it may be on its way to claiming that sad distinction again. And yet many people continue to ignore or neglect the simple tool that could save their lives.
The smoke detector.
At least 73 people have died in fires across the state this year, according to data compiled by the U.S. Fire Administration. More than a dozen victims have been under the age of 18, including two Hellertown girls killed March 31 as flames engulfed their home.
That blaze came a little more than a month after a Monroe County fire killed a Bethlehem Area School District teacher and her four grandchildren, and four months after a fire in Quakertown that killed a father and two sons on Christmas Day. “It’s not just an uptick of fires we’re seeing, but an uptick of severe fires with fatalities,” Allentown fire Capt. John Christopher said.