Benton County Fire Dist. #1 Chief Reacts To National Fire Death Toll - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Benton County Fire Dist. #1 Chief Reacts To National Fire Death Toll

BENTON COUNTY, Wash - 59 people died in house fires across the country so far in the month of February alone.   The death toll is so extreme, the International Fire Chiefs Association is now pleading with fire chiefs and the media to help educate people.  

In his 32 years as a firefighter, Benton County Fire District #1 Chief, Bob Gear said the IAFC Association has never put out a plea like this.

People need to change their attitudes about fires and have a solid plan in case a house fire starts, Gear said. 

"If we had 60 people killed in America in the month of February by terrorists, there would be a huge outcry, but 59 people killed by house fires and it barely makes the news.  You'd have to go looking for it to get that information," Gear said. 

Talk to your children about the seriousness of this, have an escape plan, and a meeting place, Gear said.  Also, don't go back in the home after the fire starts, Gear said. 

The number one point Gear wants to get across is the importance of smoke detectors.  He said he has never been to a fatal fire where there was a working smoke detector.

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