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Firefighters honor Fire Prevention Week with open house

Austin Denny peers up at his fellow "escapees" as he descends the ladder from a demonstration house filled with a vapor resembling smoke. For more photos of Monday's event see this week's print edition of the Pioneer Journal.1 / 4
Austin Denny practices calling for help outside the Children's Fire Safety Home at the Wadena Fire Department's open house Monday night.2 / 4
Mitchell Haman covers his face with his shirt as he exits a miniature home filled with simulated smoke created using a water-based smoke simulation fluid.3 / 4
Firefighter Mike Kleinke dramatically demonstrates how to extinguish a flame.4 / 4

Fire safety was fun Monday evening as kids escaped a "smoke-filled" house and snuffed out a blaze with a fire extinguisher at the Wadena Fire Hall. Firefighters put on an open house with cookies and fire safety events in honor of Fire Prevention Week.

The Children's Fire Safety House was filled with "smoke" generated by a fog machine using a water-based smoke simulation fluid. The miniature home is complete with a kitchenette, hallway, small stairway and bedroom. Kids "escaped" the home by climbing out the bedroom window onto a deck and down a ladder.

The purpose of the demonstration home is to emphasize the importance of having two ways out of a room, knowing how to call for help, knowing your address and having a meeting place outside, First Assistant Chief Rick Taggart said.

"The most important thing [is] you get out and you stay out, you don't go back in," Taggart said. Firefighters also teach children how to stop, drop and roll, he said.

M-State built the home and donated it to the fire department, which maintains the structure and loans it to other towns to use, Taggart said.

The home is in use every day this week, firefighter Mike Kleinke said.

Oct. 4-10 is Fire Prevention Week, which was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that killed more than 250 people, according to the National Fire Prevention Association Web site.

For more photos of Monday's event see this week's print edition of the Pioneer Journal.