WASHINGTON - Prince George's County firefighters are stressing the importance of a working smoke detector following a fire that killed two young girls and their father Thursday.
The 36-year-old father -- along with 4- and 8-year-old girls -- died after a Thursday morning fire in Glenarden, Md. EMS crews were able to resuscitate an 11-year-old girl, who reportedly was in grave condition.
Investigators say there was not a working smoke detector in the home, and firefighters are asking the public to help send an important message: Get one.
"You can buy the most inexpensive ones for as little as five bucks," says Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor.
Bashoor also says it's important to install the smoke detector right away, rather than putting it off. He encourages everyone to check with friends, family and neighbors after they've installed their own, to make sure loved ones are protected.
Bashoor says his crew will come and install a smoke detector at no charge.
"If people need it, I'd rather give it to them than have it be an argument over who can afford it or who can't afford it," he says.
To obtain a free smoke alarm, Prince George's County residents can call 301- 864-SAFE (7233).