ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The number of fire deaths was up last year in St. Louis city and the fire chief is searching for new ways to make sure everyone has a working smoke detector.

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson is frustrated that the city had nine fire deaths in 2015, which was two more than the year before. Out of the nine deaths, six were children.

‘We’ve don’t everything possible to try and get the smoke detectors out,” Jenkerson says. “Unfortunately, the last couple fires we had where we did have fire dust, were lack of smoke detectors.”

He adds that it is aggravating to know that a $20 machine could have saved three children’s lives.

Jenkerson says the fire department recently received a $225,000 federal grant for smoke detectors. He is also working on a new program that would require people to have working smoke detectors.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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