Published : Tuesday, 26 Oct 2010, 1:45 PM EDT
(WTNH) - On December 27, 2001 my niece died in a house fire, four days before her tenth birthday while spending the night at a friends house. The cause of the fire has gone undetermined, however, the cause of her death was smoke inhalation.
The home in which she was staying did not have operable smoke detectors. None of the three smoke detectors in the home had batteries in them. We were informed by the fire marshal that had the smoke detectors been in working condition he was 99.9% sure Jamie would be alive today. Smoke detectors are your first line of defense in a fire. Fire injures or kills over 40,000 children per year in the United States.
I have since started a foundation in her memory. It is called the Jamie Lynn Sullivan Memorial Foundation . All proceeds are going toward operable smoke detector awareness. It is my hope and vision, that these first several events, although small and focused on the local community, will be the catalyst to bring this foundations efforts to promote education and awareness of the importance of having operable smoke detectors in the home, to every community nationwide.