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City offers 10,000 free smoke alarms to residents

Baltimore is offering residents 10,000 newly-purchased smoke alarms armed with lithium batteries that will give the device a 10-year life.

In the wake of a deadly fire Thursday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Fire Chief James Clack urged residents to call 311 to obtain a free smoke alarm if needed from the Baltimore City Fire Department.

“The single most important life-saving device in a home is a smoke alarm,” the mayor said.

“If you or someone you love is in need of a smoke alarm, call 311,” Clack added. “Within two hours, our firefighters will be at your front door to install your smoke alarm. Our goal is to achieve zero fire deaths in the City of Baltimore.”

This summer, the city fire department used a federal grant to purchase the new smoke alarms for distribution to those in need.

Thursday’s fatal fire claimed the life of 84-year-old Mary Hines, a retired school teacher and principal who lived in the 2600 block of E. Biddle St., and gutted her rowhouse. Fire officials said the incident remains under investigation.