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Another plea for fire safety
By David Hull, Chief NTVFD


June 17, 2005

This is another plea for fire safety. The City Fire Department had a very busy day on Wednesday and needs to be commended for their professionalism and their skill in responding to all of the calls. No large losses and no one got hurt. While all that was going on in the City, Darlene Guzman, the fire dispatcher, had to tone North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department out on a couple of EMS calls. The dispatchers are often the unsung heroes during an emergency and the fire dispatchers sure got a workout on Thursday. Let's give them a little breather, what say.

It is still just to dry to burn anything! I know it has rained a little, but that little bit of rain just evaporates off in this glorious sunshine and all we are left with is a very dangerous fire situation on the whole island. I am the first one that enjoys watching fireworks, but please do not let your kids have them at this dry time and don't think supervising them makes it any safer. It doesn't. If you see other people playing with them please report them. I'm not trying to put a damper on anyone's good time; I'm trying to prevent a terrible tragedy. Fires can start from the most unlikely of sources.

I have seen fires start from crystals hanging in windows in this bright of sunlight or used as paperweights on desks placed near windows. I once had a window blind in my own apartment burn up filling the apartment with smoke and scorching the surrounding window sill. Cause of the fire? I won a goblet at a carnival. You know the kind with the little decorative circles etched into the glass around the bottom. Well, the circles turned out acting like little magnifying glasses and focused the sun beam on the blind, igniting it causing the fire. I'm just glad I was in the next room it happened.

So everyone please be extra careful, with everything. Crush your cigarettes out, put your trash in proper containers, don't burn for a while, order your picnic lunch to go and save the trouble of starting a camp fire, and above all take a second look at a suspicious plume of smoke. Catching a small fire early is the key to saving a lot of people a lot of grief.

David Hull, Chief
North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department
Ketchikan, AK - USA


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