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Western Md. fire deaths turn focus to smoke alarms

Wednesday - 2/1/2012, 8:38am  ET

CUMBERLAND, Md. - Seven fire deaths in three months have prompted donations of scores of smoke alarms in Cumberland and Allegany County.

The Cumberland Fire Department and the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office are accepting the devices at a news conference Wednesday in Cumberland.

They were donated by the city firefighters union and the Allegany County Commissioners for distribution to families that can't afford to buy them.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Bruce Bouch (bowtch) says neither of the Cumberland homes destroyed by fatal fires in December and January had working smoke alarms. Those fires on Dec. 11 and Jan. 20 killed three women and two young sisters.

A Midland couple died from a house fire Nov. 2. Investigators found a smoke detector in the home but no evidence of a battery.

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