The residents, who have been displaced, are being helped by the Red Cross. They could not be reached for comment.
Gwinnett County had installed about 3,000 smoke detectors annually through a 12 Days of Christmas program that started in 2015 said Knick, the chief. Last year, the county expanded the smoke detector giveaway and created the Prevention 365 program to expand the giveaways year-round. In 2019, about 5,000 residents got smoke detectors through the program said Matthew Phillips, the assistant fire marshal in charge of fire education and investigations.
Knick said there were several instances where the county’s efforts allowed people to have working alarms in their houses that alerted them to a fire, but that the county didn’t track exactly how many.
He called it the “ultimate” success.
“You have seen those calls where three or four people are deceased because they didn’t have a working smoke alarm,” Knick said. “These people walked away this morning just fine.”