Fire frees the way to be

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Melissa Paradise
  • 6th Air Mobility wing public affairs
October 4 through the 12 was National Fire Prevention week at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., as well as all across the country; and in true Team MacDill fashion, the fire fighters of the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron came out in a blaze to help educate people on fire safety.

In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday time period in which Oct. 9 falls. According to the National Archives and Records Administration's Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week, is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.

Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 blaze, which began on Oct. 8 and burned until the 10th, doing most of the damage on the 9th. The fire killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, and destroyed more than 17,400 structures, all in a little more than 2,000 acres, 3.3 square miles.

This year's particular theme focused on the danger of kitchen fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, forty percent of fires begin in the kitchen, cooking fires being the leading cause of house fires and fire-related injuries.

"Often when we're called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes," said SSgt Sergio Melendez, 6th Civil Engineer Squadron fire inspector. "Sadly, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in the community before they've suffered a damaging lesson."
For more information on how to prevent fires and fire-related injuries email the MacDill fire prevention team at