Philadelphia Fire Dept. and Red Cross volunteers deliver smoke alarms, conduct wellness checks in Nicetown-Tioga

Philadelphia Fire crews and the Red Cross headed out to Nicetown-Tioga to make sure everyone has a working smoke detector.

Red Cross, Philly Fire Dept. conduct wellness checks, install smoke alarms in Nicetown-Tioga.

But, their visit to the neighborhood in the scorching heat served a second purpose – to make sure everyone is safely staying cool.

“It’s really hot,” stated Kim Foster, a resident of Nicetown-Tioga. “That’s one thing I don’t have. Central air.”

It’s something folks in the Delaware Valley wish for Saturday and Sunday, while experiencing back-to-back days of dangerously hot temperatures.

“Anyone there? It’s the American Red Cross and the fire department coming out to install smoke alarms and make you safe,” a representative with the Red Cross called out.

That’s why the Philadelphia Fire Department and Red Cross teamed up Saturday morning, to make their fire prevention mission two-fold. They went door-to-door to make sure people like Foster had working smoke alarms.

Red Cross, Philly Fire Dept. conduct wellness checks, install smoke alarms in Nicetown-Tioga.

“I knew I needed them, and then every time you go to the store, you end up getting something else and never getting smoke detectors, or alarms, so I really needed that today,” Foster said.

And, they used the opportunity to check in on neighbors, especially the elderly, to make sure they are equipped to stay cool.

“We’re doing wellness checks. We want to make sure they’re not sitting in the heat,” Captain Derek Bromer, with the Philadelphia Fire Department, explained.

Captain Bromer said one visit proved why this is so important. They checked in on one woman and realized she was alone.

“We’re going to monitor her in the heat over the next couple of days,” Captain Bromer stated.

The groups chose this particular block because of a deadly fire last month. Red Cross volunteer Heidi Dampman says they are seeing that way too often and as recent as last week.

“We were out all day long installing them, out day and night installing them. To find out there were no working smoke alarms in this person’s house, which could’ve saved their life. It really ate me up, tore me up,” said Red Cross volunteer Heidi Dampman.

She says helping people like Foster keeps her going.

“That’s life, saving lives and stuff. You know?” stated Foster.

And, Foster says she will now spend her Saturday at her sister-in-law’s, who does have central air.

“The heat is dangerous, so you better take it serious, cause it’s really hot,” Foster added.

Anyone in need of a working smoke detector can contact Philly 311. The Fire Department says wellness checks are ongoing and they ask all residents to be good neighbors and check on each other to make sure all are safe and staying cool.