EAST LIVERPOOL - The Elks of Lodge 258 in East Liverpool have 300 smoke detectors, but if all goes according to plan, there won't be a single one left by Saturday evening. That's because the lodge will host a free smoke detector giveaway from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday.
Firefighters from Liverpool Township Fire Department will be on hand to help distribute the devices at the lodge, located at 620 Broadway St., to any area resident whose home is without one. There will be a limit of two per household.
Jeff Bloor, an Elks member, and Michelle Coppa, an employee at the lodge, have spearheaded the project. They said that the end of October, which is National Fire Prevention Month, seemed the right time to implement an idea that was born of a tragedy from seven months ago.
Helping to organize the smoke detector giveaway are (from left) Lodge 258 member and Liverpool Township firefighter Jeff Bloor, lodge employee Michelle Coppa, and East Liverpool Assistant Fire Chief Bob Smith. (Photo by Richard Sberna)
Coppa says that, like many city residents, she was deeply saddened by a March 17 fire on Vine Street, which claimed the life of 37-year-old Ulrick Estimot, along with his three sons, Trey, 11, Terrell, 7 and Trenton, 5. As the mother of an 8-year-old boy, Coppa said it hit very close to home and admits she still gets emotional when thinking about it.
Haunted by the tragedy, Coppa says she felt the need to do something to prevent such needless deaths from happening again. She approached Bloor, a longtime Liverpool Township firefighter, with her concerns, which resulted in the idea of a free smoke detector giveaway. Bloor says he had no trouble getting his fellow lodge members on board. "They said, 'Go for it, let's do this,'" he said.
A raffle was organized to raise money toward the purchase of the smoke detectors, which were purchased from Milligan's Hardware at wholesale cost. "He didn't make a dime off them," Bloor said. The tickets were donated by Keystone Printing, and the prize, a new gas barbecue grill, was purchased at a $100 discount from Walmart in Calcutta and awarded on Oct. 6. They also received monetary donations from the Hall China Co., and the Liverpool Township Fire Department Station 8 in LaCroft.
Though this will be the first time for the smoke detector giveaway, Bloor and Coppa said they hope to make it an annual event if this one is successful enough. "My goal is to make sure everybody has them," Coppa said. "If I can save one life, then we did what we needed to do."
More information is available by calling the East Liverpool Elks Lodge at 330-385-0690.