The yellow home on Endive Avenue sits empty. A fire destroyed the inside, and 84-year-old Joseph Saunders lost his life.
"If he had a smoke detector alarm, that would have set something off for him," said Kourtnae Beasley.
Hillsborough County Fire Rescue determined the owner didn't have a smoke alarm, so now they're making sure neighbors like Kourtnae Beasley are prepared.
"The smokes not gonna tap you on the shoulder and say, ‘hey get up, get up,' so these are your ears," said Brian Bonistalli with Hillsborough Fire Rescue.
Beasley's family is one of many in the neighborhood that didn't have a working smoke alarm.
"If we did, we didn't know and I don't think they work. We never changed them, which is sad, but those are small things that people don't take into consideration that is very needed and necessary," she said.
Fire rescue went door-to-door installing free smoke alarms as part of "Project Safe."
"I had planned to buy some new ones to go in, but I hadn't gotten around to it, so much happened," said Jerline Weems.
Weems told crews installing her smoke alarm that she has lived without a working one for two years.
"People think that, oh they will wake up because of the smoke or flames that a narrative they actually go into a deeper sleep because of smoke," said Ronnie Rivera with Fire Rescue.
They hope to prevent another death like the one down the street.
"A life is precious a life has no value on it so this opportunity is definitely needed," said Beasley.
Hillsborough County Fire Rescue will install a free smoke alarm for any county resident free of charge.
To contact Project Safe, call 813-272-6600.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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