Fatal fire sparks door-to-door safety checks

Firefighters will install smoke detectors for free at later date

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Fire Department did door-to-door smoke detector checks the day after an elderly man died in a house fire Monday.

The Parramore home on Lee Avenue had no working smoke detectors when it caught fire early Monday morning. Family members say Johnny Pitts Sr. was using a space heater that was too close to bedding. Family members also believe the grandfather ran back to the home after initially escaping.

Firefighters routinely pass out the devices after fatal fires as a safety precaution. More than a dozen were installed at nearby homes. 

Pitts,' grandson says he didn't know why his grandfather didn't have working smoke detectors, but says oftentimes, families don't keep track of certain safety measures when they have more pressing struggles.

"I believe they're aware; however, the concern, is the accurate concern necessarily there? I don't believe so. A lot of people just want to make sure they have somewhere to go and call home," Jeremy Pitts said.

Neighbors who did not get a smoke detector are able to contact firefighters and get them installed for free at a later date.