Mom warns families about fire safety after daughter's death - KCTV5 News

Mom warns families about fire safety after daughter's death

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OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

An Overland Park mother is on a mission to prevent children from dying because of a lack of working smoke detectors.

Two years ago Wednesday, Terri Jackson learned her daughter died when a fire broke out at the home where she was staying the night. She shares her painful story with anyone who will listen and hopes to raise awareness by handing out bracelets that say "Taylor your home for safety." They are meant as a reminder that spending just a few seconds to test your smoke detectors could save a life.

Taylor Jackson was just 8 years old when she passed away.

"Her smile just lit up the room," Terri Jackson said.

Terri Jackson remembers the last words she said to her daughter. She said "I love you buggy," and watched Taylor bounce down the street to her best friend's home.

"She spent the night there dozens of times. It was her best friend," Terri Jackson said.

On that fateful night, a fire started in the neighbor's attic.

"I found out it was an electrical fire that started in the attic. So it was a freak accident. It wasn't careless smoking, cooking, candles or anything like that," Terri Jackson said.

She said she'll never know if a smoke detector could have saved her daughter's life, but at the very least it could have alerted someone sooner.

"It only takes eight seconds a month to hit that little red button on your smoke detector. That eight seconds could save a life," Terri Jackson said.

Shortly after Taylor's death, Overland Park firefighters went door to door to make sure smoke detectors were properly working inside homes in the area. Two years later, Terri Jackson is continuing the same mission.

Taylor's friends and family also release balloons in her memory in hopes that sharing her story will inspire others to check their smoke detectors. They will hold a balloon release at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Apache Elementary School, located at 8910 Goddard. They ask that everyone who attends bring a purple balloon.

"She is probably just beaming, smiling down from heaven. She was one of those who liked to help other people," Terri Jackson said.

The mother said she never thought to ask about smoke detectors inside a home before a slumber party. She now hands out a slumber party check list that includes checking batteries for smoke detectors.

Click here for more information on the Taylor Your Home 4 Safety initiative.

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