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Firefighters ask families to take part in 'Fire Drill Friday' Dec. 12

Fire departments across Snohomish County are asking citizens to set aside time to practice home fire escape plans as part of a safety blitz that will culminate Dec. 12 with "Fire Drill Friday" events at neighborhood fire stations.

The deaths of two young boys in a house fire Nov. 21 prompted fire officials to launch the countywide campaign.

"We were all deeply touched by this loss and want to work to prevent future tragedies," said Battalion Chief Christian Davis of North County Fire and EMS, the department that serves the rural Arlington area where they fatal fire occurred.

It has been a deadly year for fires in the Puget Sound region. In Snohomish County alone, there have been eight fire fatalities this year.

"Our hearts go out to the families, friends, communities and emergency responders experiencing these losses," said Steve Sherman, a deputy chief with Snohomish County Fire District 1 and president of the Snohomish County Fire Prevention Association, which is sponsoring Fire Drill Friday in conjunction with Safe Kids Snohomish County and local fire departments. "We don’t want to see this trend continue. That is why we're asking citizens to get involved by spending some time this week talking with their families about fire safety and practicing a home fire escape plans."

Throughout the week, materials will be available at schools, in fire stations and on the Internet at www.snosafekids.org to assist families with developing their home fire escape plans.

"We're asking families to practice their escape plans, then visit a fire station open house on Fire Drill Friday to share their plan with firefighters and learn more about fire safety," explained Shawneri Guzman, president of Safe Kids Snohomish County, a coalition of county agencies dedicated to childhood injury prevention.

This is the second time this year that the Fire Prevention Association and Safe Kids have partnered to promote fire safety. In October, which is Fire Prevention Month, the two organizations joined local fire departments in sponsoring "Smoke Alarm Saturday", where firefighters went door-to-door installing free smoke alarms after a fatal fire in a mobile home claimed the lives of two women and two young girls in Snohomish.

"When fire strikes, it grows quickly, doubling in size every minute," Sherman said. "Your ability to escape safely depends on having an advance warning from a working smoke alarm and advance planning that comes from developing and practicing a home fire escape plan. The two go hand-in-hand."

He encouraged citizens who need help with their escape plans or their smoke alarms to contact their local fire department for assistance.

Families who bring their fire escape plans to their local fire station on Fire Drill Friday will receive a free mini-flashlight while supplies last.

The following fire stations will be open from 4-7 p.m. Dec. 12 for Fire Drill Friday.

Arlington Fire Department:

Station 46 on 337 N. McLeod in Arlington

Contact Chris Badger at 360-403-3600.

Marysville Fire District:

Station 61 on 1635 Grove St. in Marysville

Station 62 on 10701 Shoultes Rd. in Marysville

Station 63 on 14716 Smokey Point Blvd. in Marysville

Station 65 on 17500 East Lake Goodwin Rd. in Stanwood

Station 66 on 7217 40th St. NE in Marysville

Contact Kristen Thorstenson at 360-363-8507 or kthorstenson@marysvillewa.gov.

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