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“Every life is precious that we lose,” said Dewey Woody, director of the bomb and arson section of the state fire marshal’s office. “It's tough as professionals to deal with it day in and day out but that is one of the things that drives you to work that much harder the next day."
Woody said roughly two-thirds of all house fire deaths happen in homes that don't have smoke detectors, and to prevent more fire-related deaths in Tennessee, the department is taking a closer look at the Tennessee Fire Mortality Map.
“The problem areas are spread out all across the state,” Woody said.
The areas shaded green on the map have higher rates of residential fires and are designated as areas where more outreach and education are needed.
"We've tried to target those communities and risk areas and go door to door to put up working smoke detectors,” Woody said.
The map clearly shows Macon County as an area of concern. Sunday night, three people were killed when flames tore through their home in Lafayette. A neighbor that went into the burning building to try to save them also died.
"Once you get out, you don't ever go back in,” said Maggie Lawrence a captain with the Nashville Fire Department.
Lawrence said that's just one of a few basic rules that could save a life in a fire. She visits schools, neighborhoods and retirement homes to remind metro residents of the rest of them.
“You want to make sure first of all that you have a working smoke alarm,” Lawrence said. “Make sure that you have a fire escape plan."
Lawrence says Davidson County suffered only two fire-related deaths in all of 2012, partly due to outreach efforts. But says every single death is one too many.
"It's hurtful and somewhat disappointing because we're striving for zero fatalities," Lawrence said.
To find out how you can get a free smoke detector for your home, visit the Fox Links section of this website.
Wednesday, March 6 2013, 11:45 PM CST
Man facing extradition for murder claims innocence
June 17, 2013 20:24 GMT
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A former U.S. Marine facing extradition to the Philippines on double murder charges says he is innocent.
Timothy Kaufman has been in jail since his arrest in April at business near his grandfather's Albany-area home. The 35-year-old from Knoxville, Tenn., is one of three men charged by Philippine authorities with killing a retired Northern Ireland police officer and his girlfriend in 2011.
Authorities claim it was a premeditated killing in an area known for its sometimes-seamy club scene.
In a handwritten letter sent to the media from jail, Kaufman says he would never do something as "heinous and stupid" as killing the couple. He says he left the country after the killings because he feared for his safety.
An extradition hearing is scheduled for June 25 in Albany federal court.
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