By Keir Chapman SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — There have been a rash of fires making their way through Syracuse. There have been a total of six fires in just over two weeks.
The Buckingham Avenue fire that took place on Monday claimed the life of a SUNY ESF student. Beth Ann Newkirk died early Tuesday morning after being found unresponsive inside the home.
The New York State Association of Fire Chiefs (NYSAFC) 113th Annual Conference and Fire Expo began today. The event sees fire fighters from the state, as well as Canada, make their way to the OnCenter in downtown Syracuse.
Aside from being able to purchase equipment to help battle fires, the conference serves as a setting for fire fighters to take classes to help them fight fires better, and to better educate the public on fire prevention and safety measures.
Rick Nemier, the chairman of the public education committee, said their main goal is to protect civilian lives.
“We want to make sure you get out of the house” Nemier said. “That house can be replaced. You can’t.”
According to Nemier, leaving food on the stove is one of the most common causes of house fires. Another that is easy to prevent, but often overlooked, are dryer fires. Nemier said lint is flammable and it takes just a spark to start a fire. He recommended checking lint filters before every use.
The conference will run through June 15. After signing a three-year contract with Syracuse, the NYSAFC will hold the event in the OnCenter for the next three years. Nemier said the lessons fire fighters learn from the conference go a long way in keeping them safe.
“We can die just as much as the person that’s in the house,” Nemier said. “The people that come to these conferences, and the people that get educated through this conference are well trained individuals who are ready for just about anything.”