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Learning not to burn

Children learn fire safety from fire department

By Heather Baggett

The children that live at Glenwood Meadows apartment complex were excited about something on Tuesday morning, and it wasn't because school is starting back in less than a month.

A group of about 20 children and a few adults gathered in a meeting room in the main office of the apartment complex to listen to a firefighter from the Luverne Fire Department tell them about fire safety.

Vernon Flowers, firefighter for the Luverne Fire Department, talked to the children about what to do in case of a fire.

He told them that every family should have a plan of escape in case they needed to get out during a fire.

He said that in the event of a fire, they should get out of the house and not stop for animals or pets along the way.

"You don't stop and get Herald the hamster," Flowers said.

"We'll do that, you just get out of the house."

He also told the children not to hide in closets or under beds in the event of a fire.

"Fire is the best hide and seek partner you'll ever find," Flowers said.

Flowers told those present that it is important to practice their escape plan so that everyone in the family knows what to do and where to go in case of a fire.

The family should have a safe place outside of the home that they can go to after getting out of the house.

Peggy Boyd, property manager at Glenwood Meadows, said that they have designated the playground on the property as the safe place in the event of a fire in any of the apartment buildings.

Flowers also encouraged those present to know their neighbors in their apartment buildings.

He said that if there were ever a fire in the building, those at the safe place would then be able to tell the firefighters if anyone was still in the building.

Flowers also talked about the three things that a fire has to have to burn.

He said a fire has to have fuel, heat, and air.

If a fire loses one of those three then it will die out.

He said that they try to take away one of those things from the fire in order to put it out.

One person in attendance asked if a fire that started in a second floor apartment could burn down into the apartment below it.

To answer this, Flowers talked a little about fire behavior.

"Fire burns up as far as it can," He said.

"It then burns out as far as it can and then burns down."

After telling those present what to do in the event of a fire, Flowers showed the children the equipment that firefighters wear when fighting fires.

After showing them how the suit covers all the skin on the body, he allowed one of the children to try it on to feel the weight of it.

Myeke Boyd, 10, who was visiting his aunt who lives at the apartments, suited up to get a feel for the uniform.

"It's heavy," He said, while walking around in the suit.

Flowers compared the suit that firefighters wear to that of a racecar driver's suit.

He said that both covered all of the skin on the body to protect a person from fire.

After showing the equipment, Flowers answered the children's questions about firefighting and the equipment used.

He then took them outside to look at the fire truck.

After seeing the equipment in the fire truck, the children all took a peek inside and then took turns trying out the water hose.

Daniel Kim, 10, said that he came to the fire safety program because he wanted to ask the firefighter some questions and then admitted his actual reason for coming.

"I wanted to see the truck and shoot the hose," Kim said.

Boyd said that programs like this one are nothing new at Glenwood Meadows.

"We do several awareness programs throughout the summer," Boyd said.

She said that in the past they have had speakers from the fire department, drug task force and DARE to keep the residents of Glenwood Meadows aware and informed.

Boyd said that she was pleased that the fire department does programs like this one for her residents.

"We want the children to know what to do in case of a fire," She said.