Thursday, January 16, 2003

Youths honor fire victim by collecting alarm batteries

The Associated Press

LIMA, Ohio - Members of a youth group will collect batteries for smoke alarms as a tribute to a fellow volunteer who was one of three children killed in a fire last week.

The batteries will be given to low-income residents, said Pat Miron, leader of the Lima-Allen County Neighborhoods in Partnership Youth Council, which conducted a survey of homes with smoke detectors. "What we found is that there's a lot of smoke alarms in homes, but they don't have batteries," Ms. Miron said.

Crystal Bryan, 13, died in the house fire last week along with Thomas Terry III, 5, and Ny'kahla Terry, 2. Smoke detectors in the house were not operating, fire department officials said.

"We really believe Crystal died while trying to save the two little kids," Ms. Miron said.

Youth Council member Desiree Sherer, 14, said the battery memorial is a fitting way to remember her friend. "It'll be good," Desiree said. "I remember that she always laughs."

The group will begin approaching stores and businesses for donations of new batteries.

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