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15 Minutes
2022-01-12

            A child playing with a lighter and a malfunctioning space heater.  Those are listed as the preliminary causes for two devastating fires over the past week.  One in Philadelphia and one in New York City.

            Our communities were still dealing with the loss of a father and his two sons in a Quakertown house fire when the latest news came in.  Last Wednesday's fire that started on the second floor of a row house that housed two apartments in the City of Brotherly Love took the lives of 12 people, including nine children.

            According to Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel, there were six smoke alarms in the unit where the fire started, though none were operational.  Four were in drawers and inoperable, one was on the ceiling but did not have a battery, and another was on the floor of a bedroom without a battery.

            A smoke alarm in the shared basement was operational and went off. But it was too late to warn the occupants, most of whom were on the third floor.

            On Sunday morning, the Big Apple lost some of its shine when a fire destroyed a two-story unit in a 19-story apartment building in the Bronx.   Seventeen people, including eight children died.  Sixty-four people were taken to area hospitals, 32 of them with life-threatening injuries. 

            According to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, a faulty space-heater is suspected as the cause of that fire.

            The heavy smoke filled the hallways of the building, mainly because doors that were required to automatically close to keep that from happening; didn't.  A building and fire code violation in the city.

            In both cases, the investigation continues.

            Smoke detectors save lives.  So do building and fire codes.

            People are so consumed by the safety precautions surrounding the Covid Pandemic that the simplest life-saving measures get overlooked. 

            Make sure your smoke and CO2 detectors work and report or correct fire code violations.  Check on your family, friends, and neighbors and help to make them as fire-safe as possible.  If you need help or information, check with your local volunteer fire company.  They can either help or point you in the right direction.  They serve you day and night and helping to prevent fires is part of what they do.

            Pray for those lost in these fire tragedies and their families.  Vow to help wherever you can.

            Put Covid and politics on the back burner for 15 minutes and make sure you and your family are safe in your own home.


 

 

 

 

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