By John Anderson

On Saturday, over 250 residents stopped by the Auburn Fire Rescue Department to learn about fire safety, have some fun and grab a slice or two of pizza. Papa Gino’s supplied the pies while Polar Beverages donated the drinks. Both are huge supporters during Fire Prevention Month here in Auburn.

A display on smoke detectors helped educate visitors, and free replacement batteries were given out. Massachusetts Fire District 7’s home fire safety trailer was present and many ventured inside to experience emergencies. In the bedroom, and controlled by an Auburn firefighter, smoke poured under the closed door which was warm to the touch like in a real fire situation while in the kitchen an unattended pot on the stove suddenly appears to ignite. Both are shown in today’s slide show.

The trailer can also simulate weather emergencies and experiencing an approaching tornado or an earthquake could not be more realistic. From audible rain to the shaking of the structure and even to a power outage, this simulation was not for the faint of heart. And, this is not something offered to young children.

In addition to the department apparatus on display both inside and outside the station, guests could use the fire extinguisher training equipment to put out a real fire. The fire is fueled by propane and controlled by the supervising firefighter who shuts it down when the student uses the proper technique with the water extinguisher.

For those a little more brave, rides were given in Tower 1. Visitors climbed into the bucket with a firefighter who then elevated it up 50 or so feet. When one woman exited, she remarked, “The kids did great, but I was scared to death.” Not everyone is fond of heights.

Thanks to the Auburn Fire Rescue Department for their ongoing community education programs. We’re all safer because of their efforts.

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