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Firefighters reiterate safety messages after deadly blazes in NY and Philadelphia

| January 12, 2022
Strasburg firefighters have been doubling down on their efforts to educate the community on fire prevention after the deadly fires at housing complexes in New York and Philadelphia. (Strasburg Fire Department)

STRASBURG (WJER) (Jan. 12, 2022) – The Strasburg Fire Department is trying to educate the community about fire prevention following a couple of deadly blazes in other parts of the nation.

Assistant Chief Shawn Zurfley says be careful when warming your home with space heaters, which is what authorities believe sparked the fire that filled a Bronx apartment building with smoke on Sunday, killing 10 adults and nine children.

“Keeping those away from flammable materials and making sure that they’re in good working order if you have to use them but prefer not to use them because something like 80 percent of the fatal fires happen due to heating devices.”

Zurfley says that blaze and the one last Wednesday at a Philadelphia rowhouse that killed a dozen family members could have been prevented had the occupants kept fire safety in mind.

“Teaching your kids to not play with lighters or matches because that was one of the major causes of the one fire, making sure you have working smoke detectors and test them monthly.”  

Investigators believe the fire in Philadelphia started when a five-year got a hold of a lighter and accidentally ignited a Christmas tree. The city’s fire commissioner says the smoke detectors  didn’t go off in the unit that caught fire, either because they had been removed or had no batteries inside. 

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