Vail Fire Sponsors Open House Oct. 6 to Celebrate National Fire Prevention Week

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Vail Fire and Emergency Services is inviting community members to stop by the West Vail Fire Station, 2399 N. Frontage Road, for an open house from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. The family-friendly event will include activities for guests of all ages including station tours, equipment displays and a kids’ obstacle course in recognition of National Fire Prevention Week. Activities will also include fire safety information on smoke alarms, exit drills and carbon monoxide alarms presented by the Fire Prevention Division. Free hot dogs and chips will be served as well.

National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 7-13 and this year’s theme is “Look. Listen. Learn.” The national campaign encourages everyone to LOOK for places a fire could start. LISTEN for the sound of a smoke alarm and LEARN two ways out of every room, says Fire Chief Mark Novak.

The open house at the West Vail Fire Station and related school visits by representatives from Vail Fire and Eagle River Fire Protection District will educate students on the importance of drawing a map of their home and practicing fire drills with family members. During the sessions, firefighters will be teaching children about closing doors to slow the spread of smoke, flames and heat. Students will also learn about staying outside of a building and not going back inside to retrieve belongings.

Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 blaze that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on Oct. 8 and continued into and did most of its damage on Oct. 9, 1871.

Although many are familiar with the Great Chicago fire, few are aware that on the same night as the Great Chicago fire, the Great Peshtigo fire burned 1.5 million acres in Wisconsin and Michigan. The Peshtigo fire claimed between 1,200 and 2,400 hundred lives. The Peshtigo fire did not gain the same level of attention as the Chicago fire due to its remote location and lack of rapid communication with the outside world. Join your local Vail firefighters on Oct. 6 and share your theories!

For more information, contact Chief Mark Novak at 970-477-3474 or email mnovak.

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