Thursday, October 8, 2009

‘Stay fire smart, don’t get burned’

Fire departments prepare for Fire Prevention Week
By Sharon Stone
Published: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 8:57 AM EDT
 With the changing weather and falling leaves, more residents will be burning, and in some cases, not paying heed to the changing winds. This is a concern of Argentine Township Assistant Fire Chief Jim Reid. The area has experienced a number of major fires, including the fire at Silver Lake Hills in Fenton, when an entire apartment building was destroyed last February. It was demolished. Local fire chiefs urge all residents to keep fire safety a top priority. Another fire, not to be forgotten anytime soon, destroyed the historical Union Block building in downtown Linden on May 18, 2006. The entire building was later demolished, and the LaFontaine family has since purchased the property, with hopes of rebuilding in the future. In April, a home on White Lake Road in Tyrone Township was destroyed by fire. The homeowner was burning brush in a fire pit, which spread and caught the home on fire.
In 2007, fire departments across the country responded to 399,000 home fires. Those fires killed nearly 2,900 people. Eighty-four percent of all fire deaths resulted from home fires. As the temperatures are beginning to fall, Reid said this means more and more people are starting up their fireplaces, wood stoves and furnaces. He is urging homeowners to have these heating devices checked out, cleaned and maintained for their family’s safety. Fire Prevention Week runs from Sunday, Oct. 4 through Saturday, Oct. 10. This year’s theme is “Stay Fire Smart, Don't Get Burned.” In recognition of this initiative, area fire departments are opening their fire stations to the community.

Fenton Fire Department 
The Fenton Fire Department is holding an open house from 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 205 East Caroline St. The fire department responded to 378 calls so far for 2009 and of that amount, 63 of those calls were for fires. Fire Chief Robert Cairnduff said numerous free activities are planned for children, including a bounce house, slide, kids’ water ball, rides in the bucket of the ladder truck and Jaws of Life demonstrations. Also on tap is a visit by the University of Michigan Survival Flight helicopter. “The city of Fenton Fire Department wants to help the children of Fenton by educating them about fire safety, so they can make better choices, and also know what to do if there is a fire,” said Cairnduff.

Argentine Township Fire Department 
In September alone, the fire department has responded to 39 calls. Reid said there have been fewer fire runs, while the number of medical emergencies increased. The Argentine Township Fire Department expects to hold an open house at its fire hall sometime in October, however, the date and time has not yet been determined. Fire safety presentations are being planned at elementary schools in the Linden district.

Linden Fire Department 
The Linden Fire Department will be holding its annual open house from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10. Linden Fire Chief Brian Will said firefighters are planning on going to Hyatt Elementary School and Linden Elementary School on Friday, Oct. 9 to present fire safety to the children.

Fenton Township Fire Department 
The Fenton Township Fire Department has responded to 22 fires this year. It will be holding its annual open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 at Station No. 2, at 5120 Owen Rd. A variety of informative, yet fun, activities are planned for the whole family to enjoy. Firefighters will show how they perform an extrication and hoses will be out for the kids to play with. Brochures with fire safety tips will be available and smoke detectors will be available to those in need. Firefighter and fire prevention officer, Theresa Hajac said they would also be providing reflective stickers that parents can stick on bedroom doors. These stickers will aid firefighters if they are searching for a child, or any family member, in a smoke-filled home. On Saturday, Oct. 3, firefighters with the Fenton Township Fire Department will be at The Home Depot on Silver Parkway from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children will have opportunities to climb inside the trucks and talk with firefighters.

North Oakland County Fire Authority (NOCFA) 
NOCFA will be hosting an open house at its new station, 5051 Grange Hall Rd., from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24. Chief Jeremy Lintz said the new station would be on display, along with fire prevention information. There will be children’s activities and refreshments.

Village of Holly Fire Department 
The Village of Holly Fire Department will visit elementary schools in the Holly Area Schools district, and Adelphian Academy, said Assistant Chief Paul Schimmeyer. Firefighters will visit Holly, Patterson and Karl Richter schools. They educate 500 to 700 children per year. In addition, the village fire department will be open on Halloween night, for parents to bring their children and have Halloween goodies checked for any tampering. Schimmeyer said the department distributes coloring books for children, and printed information for parents.