Posts Tagged ‘Fire’

Poignant Reminder of Fire Hazards

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016


The beauty of a historic church was still visible even after being gutted by a fire on Sunday. The Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sava, a 160-year-old landmark structure in the Chelsea area of¬†Manhattan, was severely damaged by a fire reportedly caused by candles that were not fully extinguished following the Orthodox Easter worship services. Church officials are trying to determine if any part of the structure may be preserved and let’s pray that they are successful. In addition to its historic significance, St. Sava was the spiritual home to 700 or so people in its congregation who attend weekly services.¬†Disasters can be devastating to cultural and historic treasures. What struck me about this disaster was the speed with which the fire spread; within a few hours, the flames from the church candles had engulfed the entire structure. It is a powerful reminder of the importance of fire safety and worth remembering as the 2016 storm season officially begins within a month. The hurricane forecast will capture the news headlines, but fires remain the more common threat.

Fire Destroys Vermont Landmark

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
Traditional New England

Traditional New England

The New York Times reported the moving story of how life in a small town in Vermont was upended when arson destroyed the general store that was the center of community life. The Putney General Store, built over 200 years ago, was likely the oldest general store in Vermont. A landmark building, tourists would pose for photographs in front of the store even as residents relied on it as a hub of information. The town has raised $200,000 to repair the building, but the story is a reminder of how small businesses define the character of local communities, unlike the anonymous national chain franchises or big box institutions. The tragedy also reminds us that everyday disasters, such as fires, are more likely to strike that major disasters.

Use Daylight Savings Time to Update Your Fire Safety Plan

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
Fires spread quickly, be prepared

Fires spread quickly, be prepared

Early yesterday morning a fire started on the second floor of an apartment building in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood. The fire killed one resident and caused serious injuries to four others, when they jumped from the fifth and sixth floors of the building. Eight firefighters were also injured. Fires are actually the most common demand on the resources of the local chapters of the American Red Cross. Each year in the U.S., fires kills more than 4,000 people and injure more than 25,000. Many of these fires could be prevented. Fires cause close to $9 billion in annual property losses. Daylight Savings Time begins at 2:00 a.m. on March 8; use this occasion to put new batteries in your smoke alarms at both your place of work and your home and review your fire safety plan with your employees and your families.

Deadliest Disaster in Australian History

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

One week ago, more than 400 fast-moving fires, some of which appear to have been set deliberately, moved through Victoria, Australia killing more than 180 people in the most fatal disaster in that country’s history. The fires destroyed more than 1,800 homes leaving more than 7,000 people homeless. More than 4,000 firefighters continue to fight nine fires still blazing in their area, with their ranks supplemented with firefighters flown in from both New Zealand and the United States. In an effort to count the casualties, a team of Indonesian experts who had helped to identify bodies after the Bali bombings and the 2005 tsunami has gone to Australia. The Australian Red Cross has launched a fundraising appeal to help the victims of the fires and has established a website where you can make a secure online donation with your credit card.

Fire Prevention Week

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Fire Prevention Week falls during the month of October and with it, a new Fire Safety Census was published by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and the International Association of Fire Fighters (“IAFF”). The survey revealed that many people unknowingly engage in risky behaviors and while nearly all respondents expressed concern about fire safety, many did not take basic precautions, such as checking out home smoke alarms or learning how to use a fire extinguisher. Based on the survey results, Liberty Mutual and the IAFF have put forward fire safety recommendations:

  • Test smoke alarms once a month.
  • Change smoke alarm batteries once a year – at an easy-to-remember time, such as when clocks are changed.
  • Replace a smoke alarm that’s more than 10 years old
  • Buy a fire extinguisher, mount it, and learn how to use it. Revisit the instructions every six months.
  • Never leave burning candles unattended or near combustible materials – home fires caused by candles have doubled in the past decade.
  • If a fire alarm sounds, or smoke is visible, evacuate first and then call the fire department.
  • Close doors behind you when leaving the room and building to slow the spread of fire and smoke.
  • Plan an escape route that shows two ways out of each room.
  • Identify a meeting place near the home.
  • Practice an escape plan – during the day and night – at least twice a year.
  • Talk to children frequently about preventing fires and escaping fires.
  • Do not leave a dryer on unattended.
  • Do not leave a stove or oven on unattended.
  • Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from all combustible materials and never leave them on unattended.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm.
  • Do not overload power strips.
  • Turn holiday lights off when not at home.

For more information on the survey and fire safety tips go to