By Joel Hillan

ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4)– So far this year, nearly 500 people in Colorado and Wyoming have been affected by house fires. The Red Cross is often called in to help these families and is hoping a campaign called Sound the Alarm can ensure everyone has a working smoke alarm.

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Smoke alarms are typically the first line of defense in a fire. Friday morning in Arvada, a house fire near West 64th Avenue and Kipling Street served as a reminder that fire can strike anytime, anywhere.

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“I just heard all the sirens and it sounded really, really close all of a sudden I came running through the house to see what was going on in the neighborhood,” said neighbor Nancy Prucha.

Nancy Prucha (credit: CBS)

Prucha watched crews work quickly to save the home.

“I was very impressed how fast everybody was here, fire marshals, police, and the fire department,” she said.

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The Arvada Fire Department tells us people inside the home were not notified of the fire by smoke alarms.

Everyone in the house made it out safely except for one pet that died.

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“They brought the dog out and they worked on the poor little dog and gave him oxygen, and he laid there and he didn’t make it,” said Prucha.

Prucha told us she had just checked her smoke alarms with the recent start of Daylight Saving Time and thought they were ready to go.

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When Amber Jones from Arvada Fire did a quick check, she noticed they were not working.

“Smoke alarms are only good for ten years, so after 10 years that dependability goes down by about 50 percent,” said Jones.

Amber Jones from Arvada Fire (credit: CBS)

Thanks to a partnership with the Red Cross, Arvada Fire provided Prucha with new smoke alarms.

The program called Sound the Alarm will count on volunteers to help with the work Amber Jones does every day.

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“If we can get out and help each other, help our neighbors, it’s only going to make our community safer,” said Jones.

The volunteer process is easy, just sign up online at SoundTheAlarm.org, click on volunteer and fill out the form.

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LINK: Sound The Alarm

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.

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