WHITEVILLE, N.C. -- Volunteer fire fighters across the state were on a life saving mission on Saturday.

  • Volunteer firefighters around the state are installing free alarms
  • There have been 91 fatal fires in the state this year
  • An incident where five children died spurred the mission

They were distributing free smoke and fire alarms to people that may need them. In Columbus County, the firefighters were going to eight locations around the community.

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This is a response to the 91 fire fatalities that have happened in North Carolina in just the first half of 2018. That number is already more than the total number of fire deaths that took place in all of 2016 and 2017.

One fire in particular, that happened back in May, was especially horrific. And because of the severe loss of life, that incident spurred the State Fire Marshal and Insurance Commissioner's Office to take this first of a kind step this weekend.

"One death is too many. But in May, we had five children perish in an apartment fire. And from that day forward we want to fight any type of fire loss in North Carolina," said Brian Taylor, the State's Chief Fire Marshal.

The volunteer fire firefighters were passing out those alarms in 60 counties at 90 different locations throughout the state. Their goal was to give away 3,500 fire alarms this weekend. 

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