Fire education programs for kids can save lives

Fire education programs for kids can save lives

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Fires are devastating, especially ones set by your own child that could have been prevented.

Children playing with matches and starting fires sometimes don't realize that it could lead to them destroying everything their family has.

Unfortunately, those 911 calls happen more often than you'd think.

"When you talk about kids, they don't understand a lot of times the end result," said Private Sterling Rahe, spokesperson for the Toledo Fire Department. "We've had people that have been burned at fires involved in the programs to help talk to the kids."

Just recently, an 8-year-old boy caused a panic within his family when he lit something on fire and threw it down a vent.

The boy's grandma said she wants him to get help, and that's where the fire programs come in.

The Toledo Fire prevention unit wants to educate kids on fire safety and let them know that if you play with fire, you will get burned.

The training program can be recommended by the family or ordered by the court.

"The biggest things we try to do is, with the help of professional psychiatrists, psychologists with the hospitals, is to find out why they're starting the fires," Rahe said.

For some kids, it could be for the thrill of it. For others, Rahe said they could be crying out for help.

"They may have problems at home, school and it manifests in a way that they are maybe trying to get back at somebody," said Rahe.

The program is a one-day class at St. Vincent's. From there, leaders can decide if the issue is bigger.

Rahe said this kind of intervention can change a child's viewpoint on fire, and possibly save a life.

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