Neighbors check their smoke alarms after fifth fatal fire in Cleveland in 10 days
CLEVELAND - Five people have been killed in house fires in less than two weeks and fire officials say, in some of the homes, there were no operational smoke detectors.
GUIDE: A working smoke detector could mean the difference between life and death
"I'm definitely going to sleep a little easier knowing we've got this," said Benjamin Slowick, who bought a smoke detector Monday morning, hours after seeing his neighbors Searsdale Avenue home go up in flames.
Slowick said he did everything he could to help.
"I helped the mom escape out a back window. Then ran around and caught the boy jumping off the roof," he said.
According to Cleveland EMS, that boy's 8-year-old brother didn't make it.
Authorities don't believe there was a detector in the home.
"A smoke detector wakes up way before you do," Slowick said.
Just 15 minutes north, on East 49th Street, a fire claimed two other lives Monday.
"Some people don't think about buying them until they see something like this," Maurice Crenshaw told News 5 as he checked his alarms.
Everyone we caught up with on and off camera, touched by tragedy just feet away, shared similar messages.
"Get some smoke detectors. Make sure you have them," Crenshaw said.
"Preventative maintenance is the best you can have, get it before it happens don't wait for something devastating like this," John Showman said.