Fatal Fire Inspires School Bus Aides to Give Out Smoke Detectors

By: Rahel Solomon Email
By: Rahel Solomon Email

LOGAN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A tragic fire that claimed the lives of two young children has a group in Logan working to make sure every child has a smoke detector.

Dontarius Gardner and his sister Shania Sidney were killed Oct. 21 when their Logan home burned down.

School bus aide Rosemary Harvey rode the bus with Shania everyday.

“She was an angel,” Harvey said, referring to Shania. “I felt like I had to do something.”

With the help of the Logan City Fire Department, Harvey and a group of school bus drivers gave out hundreds of free smoke detectors. So far they've reached grade school kids who ride Logan County buses, but they're targeting middle schools next.

“Everybody has kind of stepped up to the plate and said we don't want this to happen again,” Harvey said.

Fire Chief Scott Beckett said the program is progress in an area where it's desperately needed.

“This area for some reason we see a lot more of [fatal fires] than most of the state,” Beckett said.” We're trying to get them into the schools that way we can get them directly to the kids so we can take care of them that way.”

Becket said often times though who do have smoke detectors do not have them installed properly.

Those who live in Kanawha County and would like help installing their detectors can call the Kanawha County Commission at (304) 357-0100 and ask for Emergency Management.

They'll arrange for the correct fire department to come out and install
detectors -- free of charge.

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