CHENANGO COUNTY – This week marks the 143rd anniversary of National Fire Safety week in the United States, and with that in mind a number of Chenango County fire departments and first responders are looking to spread the word like wildfire.
Fire Prevention Week was established more than 140 years ago to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The tragic inferno that left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,000 structures also took the lives of more than 250 people.
The blaze produced countless tales of bravery and heroism; but also changed the way that firefighters and public officials thought about fire safety, creating a new industry out of necessity.
Forty years after the Chicago fire, fire marshals decided the annual event should be utilized to keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention.
In continuing with that steadfast tradition, various Chenango County fire departments are sponsoring a host of activities throughout the county at various locations with the premise of keeping locals – with an emphasis placed on children – informed and aware of steps that can be taken to keep their families and loved ones safe.