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Milan 7th grader launches smoke detector drive

Raising funds to donate smoke detectors to others

(MILAN, Ind.) – A local seventh grader is teaming up with the Milan Fire Department in an effort to save lives. 

Milan student Wil Wheeler is hoping to purchase upwards of 150 smoke detectors and donate them to community members. 

It’s part of his Boy Scout project to earn a "Citizenship in the Community" merit badge.

The smoke detector idea came up after Wil approached Rodney Johnson, who serves as assistant chief for the Milan Fire Department. 

“He walked up to me and shook my hand and said, ‘I am no longer a Cub Scout, I’m a Boy Scout and I want to do something for the community for my project,’” Johnson recalled.

The fire department worked with Wheeler to come up with the concept of smoke detectors. 

They need to raise money to make the large purchase and Wil will be tasked with seeking some of the donations.

If they are successful, the plan is to purchase the smoke detectors from Merrilee’s Hardware. Wheeler and the fire department will then drive around town and hand out free smoke detectors to residents who don’t have one.  

“I think it would be fun to help my community, and you never know how many lives this could save,” Wheeler told The 812. 

If you would like to make a donation, you can mail a check to the Milan Fire Department at P.O. Box 183 Milan, Indiana 47031 and write “Smoke Detector Project” in the memo line.  

The fire department said events are being planned to raise the necessary funds. The goal is to have the project complete in three months.

Wil Wheeler first appeared on The 812 in November of 2022 when he launched his very own popcorn company. He has quite the personality!


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