McKinley High School students create app to alert residents of fire emergencies, gas leaks

McKinley High School students create an app to alert residents of fire emergencies, gas leaks and more (ABC7).

Every year there are more than 1.2 million fires reported in the United States and thousands of them are deadly.

Students at McKinley High School in Northeast are hoping an app they designed will someday help families make it out of a burning home safely. It's called GFire and seven students at McKinley are the brains behind it.

"The app alerts you on fire or gas leak emergencies in your house," explained 10th grade student Zachary Greene. "Say the back door is on fire but the front door is okay and you can leave out the front door. The app will tell you that," he continued.

GFire offers a family evacuation plan and even tells users when it's time to change smoke detector batteries. The team recently entered the app in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge and won. Cassell Robinson wasn't surprised. "I had a feeling we would win this challenge," he said.

McKinley beat out 1200 middle and high school entries from around the country. As "Best in State" winners the students received $5,000 for the technology department at their school, and a new LG tablet for each team member.

Robert Holm is Director of the IT Academy at Mc Kinley and told ABC7 what's ahead. "They won the state competition for Washington, D.C. and they're going on. They're part of a fan favorite competition that's part of that," he shared.

The national competition offers even more money for the STEM program at McKinley: $15,000. Robinson and the other team members rare doing what they can to increase their votes. "I'm trying to get the word out to vote for us telling my friends, family, putting it on social media," he said.

To vote for McKinley Tech's GFire app, text GFIRE2 to 22333 by January 31st.

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