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Wings, Comerica fight fire with detector collection

by Sarah Danaher / Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT -- Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg, volunteers from Comerica and local fire stations put a big stomp on fires with the 12th Annual Smoke Detector Collection presented by Comerica. Donations were collected at two Detroit home games on Wednesday, Sept. 25, against Pittsburgh and Friday, Sept. 27, versus Toronto. By donating a smoke detector or making a monetary contribution, fans had the chance to win an autographed puck and photo signed by Zetterberg.

Firefighters from nine local fire departments helped to collect smoke detectors and more than $2,600 in monetary donations at each Joe Louis Arena entrance for both home games. Zetterberg then matched all monetary donations made during the collection, which are then used to purchase additional smoke detectors and will be distributed to fire departments as far as Flint and Saginaw following practice on Tuesday, Oct. 8, in the effort to save more lives.

Fire inspector Mike Albo of the Southfield Fire Department has been volunteering at the collection event for several years. “This has a tremendous impact all throughout the Metro Detroit area and beyond,” Albo said. “What I like about this is that professional athlete, the Red Wings organization, giving back to the community...its nice to see the athletes giving back.”

Volunteers from Comerica were also on hand to help with the collection. “It’s a good cause. Every smoke detector collected is for a needy cause,” Rebecca Birch of Comerica said. She brought her nine year old son, Alex, to help with the collection and to get him involved in volunteering.

Having a working smoke detector can reduce the risk of dying in a household fire in half. Since the program’s inception in 2001, the Smoke Detector Collection has brought in and distributed more than 23,000 smoke detectors throughout the Metro Detroit area and beyond. All of the detectors collected go to low income families and elderly individuals who otherwise cannot afford them or who are unable to install them themselves.

Jeff Tucker of the Port Huron Fire Department helped collect for the first time at the Joe. “Last year our station was actually a recipient of the smoke detectors but I didn’t take part in the collection,” Tucker said, “so this year we got involved and we are happy to be here. We advertise the free detectors as much as we can and even offer to help install if they need.”

Fans across all communities have made donations. “I think it’s great that people in a position like Zetterberg are doing something like this,” Candace Reuben, a Wings fan from Windsor, ON, said. “It’s awesome.”

Brendan Shanahan started the collection back in 2001 to honor the memory of his father, who was a firefighter. Zetterberg is now in his seventh year as spokesman for the program.

About Comerica Bank:
Comerica Bank, with 216 banking centers in Michigan, is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated. Founded in Detroit in 1849, Comerica continues to invest in Michigan. Comerica’s $17 million renovation of its building at 411 W. Lafayette in Detroit was completed last year and the renamed Comerica Bank Center is now the bank’s Michigan Market headquarters. Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. To find us on Facebook, please visit Follow Comerica on Twitter at @ComericaCares.

About The Detroit Red Wings:
The Detroit Red Wings hockey club, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League and 11-time Stanley Cup Champion, was purchased by Michael and Marian Ilitch in 1982. Other Ilitch companies in the food, sports and entertainment industries include: Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, Champion Foods and Uptown Entertainment. Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers. Marian Ilitch owns the MotorCity Casino Hotel. For more information, visit

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