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Bay City Volunteer Fire Department warms up residents with open house

By JR Ortega
Oct. 10, 2012 at 5:10 a.m.

Firefighters make sure to get rid of any hot spots in a staged car fire Tuesday night during the Bay City Volunteer Fire Department's open house. Families watch and learned what the firefighters were doing during the extinguishing. TOP: Children stood behind yellow crime scene tape as a volunteer fire fighter taught them about grease fires and how to properly extinguish those.

Quick hitting safety tips

• Don't touch matches

• Don't touch radiators or heaters

• Don't play with electrical cords

• Don't play around in the kitchen

• Don't put anything over a lamp

• Make an two escape plans

• Choose a meeting place

• Practice evacuation

• Feel a door before you open it

• Stay low to the floor

• Call 9-1-1 or the fire department

• Once out of the house, stay out

SOURCE: pbskids.org

An eyes of people in an antsy crowd waiting behind yellow crime scene tape burned a hot ember hue as a four-door car exploded into a fireball with a resounding boom.

Ohs and Ahs escaped their mouths as firefighters rushed to turn out the blaze - of course, this was all part of the show, an annual community open house the Bay City Volunteer Fire Department puts on every year during fire prevention week.

"We have our good years and we have our bad years," said Randy Frontz, fire chief, about the turn out.

More than 300 people flooded the intersection of Avenue I and 6th Street Tuesday night to see what the volunteer fire department had to show.

Safety and learning is the ultimate goal of these open houses, Frontz said.

"We give them hands on classes," Frontz added.

Also this week, the volunteer fire department has been giving old fire trucks rides to classes in the elementary schools in Bay City.

At the event families had the chance to see how to properly control a grease fire, but possibly the most exciting part was the chance to extinguish your own fire.

Darryl Leist and other fire fighters held onto kids tight as they walked them close to a contained inferno with a fire extinguisher in hand.

Some kids were excited, others, nervous.

"There you go," Leist said to one little girl. "That's it."

Adriana Sierra and her son Humberto Maldonado, 3, were able to extinguish the fire together.

Sierra enjoyed how simple and focused the event was.

"It just teaches kids how to be safe with fire," she said shrugging her shoulders. "And of course not to be scared of fire."

Little Humberto was not scared at all as he squeezed the trigger on the extinguisher.

His expression was much different from Susan and Ivan Garcia's daughter Esperanza.

Donning a red plastic fire hat, the shy girl took photos on the different fire trucks, but when it came to extinguishing the blaze, she seemed a bit hesitant.

Still, she managed, and that's the most important part, Frontz said.

The entire event was topped off with a car fire that was extinguished by the volunteer fire firefighters themselves.

During the extinguishing, one firefighter explained the process and had the kids recite what they learned throughout the evening.

"They need to know not to be afraid of fire," Frontz said.

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