Operation Save A Life

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A fire department in Northumberland County is taking action,as it tries  to prevent another tragedy. A 13 year old lost her life in a fire last week.

The house fire in Shamokin last week at first burned out of control.  Inside, trapped in an attic bedroom, 13-year-old Melissa Pangburn. She died. Officials say a discarded cigarette sparked the blaze.  Investigators don't know if the house on South Rock Street had working smoke alarms, but the teen's death has touched many people.

Craig Rhoades said he's been in the fire service for 43 years.

"This recent fatality is the 17th in the city of Shamokin and it doesn't get easier. Especially when you deal with children."

The girl's death has put more emphisis on fire safety.

Through a program called Operation Save a Life . The Kidde Corporation supplies WNEP-TV with smoke alarms.  The media outlet  then passes them out to area fire departments. Fire Commissioner Craig Rhoades said  they want any city resident to ask for at least one.

"The volunteers, including the fire chiefs the code officer and some of our volunteers who are instructors at the vo-tech school are going to have students during the day are going out and install these smoke detectors."

Tim Vincent explained he picked up a smoke alarm for his family's safety.

"The smoke detector give you an auditable alarm even if it's 30 seconds gives you a chance to get out alive or be found to be a casualty." Vincent said.

If you live in the city of Shamokin and want a free smoke alarm give the folks at city hall a call.