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— The Northeast Benton County Fire Department hosted a smokehouse recently at Garfield Elementary School for Fire Prevention Week Oct.

4 through 10. This is a model house to illustrate what happens and what to do when a fire breaks out and smoke consumes the structure.

According to the National Fire Protection Association’s Web site, Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures andburned more than 2,000 acres.

The fire began on Oct. 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on Oct. 9, 1871.

Students gathered, 138 years later, outside to meet the NEBCO firemen volunteering their time. Then, the group moved into the smokehouse and closed the door. They first learned the old stop, drop and roll, what to leave behind when there is a fire, stove safety, how to call 911 and to always trust a fireman.

Nick Mason, NEBCO firefighter, donned full fire gear to show that even though he may sound like Darth Vader, he is not to be feared.

The kids remained calm, got down on the floor as they were told and crawled to the stagedwindow exit in the next room.

Shrieks from the children came from enjoyment rather than fear.

According to www.firesafety.

gov, in a fire, smoke and deadly gases tend to spread farther and faster than heat. That’s one reason why most fire victims die from inhalation of smoke and toxic gases, not as a result of burns. Smoke contains toxic gases which can disorient or, at worst, overcome someone inside a smoke-filled building.

News, Pages 1 on 10/21/2009

Print Headline: Smoke house good tool for teaching fire safety

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