Friday, June 9, 2023

Oxford Fire Chief Urges Citizens to Check Smoke Detectors Regularly


One day after Oxford resident William Earl Williams, 44, died from smoke inhalation at his home, Oxford officials urged citizens to make sure their smoke detectors are up-to-date.

“We were saddened by the tragedy (Monday),” said Mayor Pat Patterson. “Put up and maintain smoke detectors. The Oxford Fire Department will come do it for you with a smile on their face. If you can’t do it, call us and we’ll do it for you. If you can’t afford it, we’ll get you one.”

Oxford Fire Chief Cary Sallis
Oxford Fire Chief Cary Sallis

It was unclear whether or not there were working smoke detectors inside Williams’ home that he shared with his wife, but OFD Fire Chief Cary Sallis said the firefighters did not hear any beeping at the scene indicative of a smoke detector.

“I can’t stress how important smoke detectors are,” said Sallis. “They’re so important and have more than one. We’re more than happy to come out free of charge to change batteries, install one, whatever, just call us.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of five deaths in home fires were from homes without working smoke alarms. The NFPA also reports that smoke alarm failures typically stem from missing, disconnected or dead batteries.

If you need assistance with a new or existing smoke alarm, the Oxford Fire Department can be reached at (662) 232-2412.

Michael Quirk is a staff reporter and can be reached at