Safety measures taught where fire took lives

January 09, 1994|By Mary Maushard | Mary Maushard,Staff Writer

Anne Arundel County firefighters preached prevention yesterday after a fire Friday afternoon in a Pasadena home killed two children.

Fanning out through the neighborhood of small homes just off Ritchie Highway, about 25 volunteer and career firefighters -- some the same ones who fought the fatal blaze -- knocked on doors to make sure that residents had smoke detectors, that those smoke detectors were working and that everyone understood the basics of fire safety.

There were so many ambulances and fire engines in the neighborhood that some residents thought there was another emergency. Some people came out of their homes to ask for smoke detectors. Others welcomed the attention and the advice the firefighters offered.

"I think it's good that they are going around and trying to make sure everyone has a smoke detector," said Edward Zentgraf, who did not have one. He does now. "And I thank them for it."

The firefighters visited 37 homes, installed 10 smoke detectors and replaced eight batteries, said Battalion Chief Gary Sheckells.

Fire officials said that the two smoke detectors were not working in the home of Alan and Angela Johnson when fire broke out in an upstairs bedroom.

Seventeen-month-old Kristen Johnson died in her crib. Her 2 1/2 -year-old brother, Alan, died about eight hours later at Johns Hopkins Children's Center of burns and smoke inhalation.

Friends of the Johnson family have started a fund to pay the children's funeral expenses. Contributions can be sent to the Alan and Kristen Johnson Fund, in care of Carrollton Bank, 684 Old Mill Road, Millersville 21108.

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