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Illustration of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871It all started on October 9, 1911, when Fire Prevention Day was inaugurated. The date of October 9 was chosen because iThe Rush for Life Over the Randolph Street Bridge, 1871 (Harper's Weekly, from a sketch by John R. Chapin) t marks the anniversary of the "Great Chicago Fire of 1871" -- the disaster that killed 250 people and destroyed 17,430 buildings at a cost of $168 million, and the fire that started people thinking in terms of fire prevention rather than only firefighting.

Fire Prevention Day was begun by the Fire Marshals Association of North America, now part of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The day was first proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson on the 40th anniversary of the Chicago blaze.

Upon the recommendation of a member of NFPA and unanimous vote of the membership at the association, the fire safety observance was extended to cover the entire week that includes the October 9 anniversary date. President Warren Harding was the first to officially proclaim National Fire Prevention Week.

NFPA continues to be the international sponsor of Fire Prevention Week, which is always the Sunday-through-Saturday period during which the October 9 anniversary date falls.

Here in Carson City, Fire Prevention Week either begins or ends with our Open House activities. Citizens are encouraged and invited to visit any of the city’s fire stations, however the "biggest" demonstrations are at Fire Station 1 on Stewart Street. We have tours, demonstrations, refreshments, handouts and personnel standing by to assist anyone. The open house usually runs mid morning to late afternoon.

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Last updated: 2/16/2007 11:50:46 AM