Fatality inspires Berrien Springs Fire Department

ORONOKO TOWNSHIP, Mich. - The death of a 3-year-old girl is inspiring a movement of sorts in Berrien Springs.

The Berrien Springs/Oronoko Township Fire Department has plans to furnish every owner occupied home in their jurisdiction with smoke detectors. This week Chief Bruce Stover found out the department won a $100,000 FEMA grant to pay for 2,300 smoke detectors.

Stover said the department was motivated to apply for the grant after the death of 3-year-old Rockelle Haas. Haas was killed by an apartment fire on Valley View Drive in November 2011. Investigators found only one smoke detector in the entire four-unit complex.

“We take the loss of a child, especially, very personal,” Stover said.

The grant will also pay to train two fire fighters as inspectors. They will work with landlords on apartment safety. The grant has a $5,500 match that the department will pay out of their budget.

“Maybe some good does come out of that fire,” said Stover. “If we can save another life, loss of property coming from the effects of that fire that would be a positive for our community.”

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