NewsLocal News / February 24, 2014

Death Of Family Highlights Importance Of Smoke Detectors

Jill Sheridan
Death Of Family Highlights Importance Of Smoke Detectors

Fire officials often send the message of the importance of having smoke detectors on every level of your home, a simple step that can save lives. 

The loss of the Guerra family in a house fire on Indianapolis' near-east side over the weekend is being called the largest single loss of life for a family due to fire in the Indianapolis Fire Department's history.

All six family members Lionel "Leo" Guerra, 47; Brandy Mae Guerra, 33; Miranda Guerra, 14; Esteban Guerra, 11; and Blanquita Guerra, 8; and Fuentes Guerra, 6, died from injuries suffered in the fire. Firefighters say the three-bedroom home did not have smoke detectors. 

IFD Captain Rita Reith says no one should go without a detector in their home.

"We want everyone to know where the resources are," says Reith, "if they are unable to afford a smoke detector they can stop by any IFD station and pick one up."

Although supplies are limited, local firefighters will work to make sure families are prepared.  Officials are also available to help residents develop a safety plan and address any needs or concerns. 

The Guerra children attended the Lighhouse Charter School where grief counselors are available to talk with the children's friends and classmates.

There is also a fund being started to help pay for funeral costs.

Ten people have already lost their lives to fire in Indianapolis in 2014.