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FDNY Foundation Joins Fire Commissioner in Urging Parents to Educate and Engage Children to Prevent Tragedies
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro is urging parents and guardians of young children to educate, inform and prevent fire play in and around the home after three serious fires across New York City in the last two weeks.
The fires destroyed or damaged multiple buildings, caused dozens of injuries, forced dozens of people from their homes and resulted in millions of dollars in property damage.
“In the last ten days there have been three major fires in our city caused by children playing with fire – destroying or damaging 14 homes and injuring 35 people – including three firefighters who were critically hurt,” said Commissioner Nigro. “These are preventable fires and parents and guardians must ensure the children under their care are properly supervised, and that they don’t have access to matches, lighters, open flames or other potentially dangerous sources of fire.”
At the fire safety event in Queens on Mon., Aug. 22, members of the Foundation-funded FDNY Fire Safety Education Unit and Fire Marshals from the Foundation-Funded Juveniles Fire Setters Intervention Program spent time discussing fire safety with New York City children.
“Children playing with fire and children around fire unsupervised can have devastating consequences,” said Lt. Anthony Mancuso, FDNY Director of Fire Education. “Adults have to urge their children to avoid fire, never to engage in fire play and to teach children never to play with lighters, matches, candles or other burning flames. The only time a child should be playing near candles is when they are blowing them out on their birthday.”
One of the fundamental missions of the FDNY Foundation is to financially support the Department’s core educational programs. The goal of the Foundation is to help the Department empower the public to protect their lives and property during fire emergencies, and to help prevent fires by promoting safe practices and techniques. Through the FDNY Fire Safety Education Program, members teach strategies that reduce fire deaths and injuries and focus on fire prevention. The Juvenile Fire-Setters Intervention Program focuses on preventive measures with children who are playing with fire or setting fires intentionally.
Additionally, New Yorkers and visitors to the City can interact with FDNY educators at the FDNY Fire Zone and the New York City Fire Museum.
To learn more about the FDNY Foundation & its mission to support the FDNY’s educational programs, click here.
For additional resources from the FDNY, click here.
Details on 3 recent fires in New York City:
- Tuesday, Aug. 9, fourth-alarm fire originating in a two-story private dwelling at 636 East 235th Street in the Bronx completely destroyed one building and damaged another three structures. Two Firefighters suffered critical injuries at the fire; a third Firefighter from Queens whose unit was sent to the Bronx to provide additional fire coverage was critically injured in an unrelated accident. Cause of the fire: Children playing with fire and a dish towel on a stovetop.
- Saturday, Aug. 13, a second alarm fire occurred at 221-30 111th Avenue in Queens, a two-story residential building resulting in eight injuries (four firefighters, four civilians – none life-threatening). Cause of the fire: children playing with matches.
- Thursday, Aug. 18, a six-alarm fire on Staten Island started in a three-story residential home at 228 Benziger Avenue, completely destroying three homes and damaging four others. There were a total of 23 non-life threating injuries (20 Firefighters, three civilians). Cause: children playing with matches.
"In the last ten days there have been three major fires in our city caused by children playing with fire – destroying or damaging 14 homes and injuring 35 people – including three firefighters who were critically hurt. These are preventable fires and parents and guardians must ensure the children under their care are properly supervised, and that they don’t have access to matches, lighters, open flames or other potentially dangerous sources of fire."