STATEWIDE – At nearly halfway through Fire Prevention Month, some firefighters are saying prevention education is showing results.
During the first nine months of 2019, the Brewer Fire Department has only battled one structure fire.
According to its public information officer, inspection and education are the keys to keeping fires in that city nearly nonexistent.
“Little things, simple things to help keep people safe and to prevent those big fires from occurring,” said Lt. Eric Tourtillotte.
Across the river, the Bangor Fire Department has responded to more than 125 fires.
“Which sounds terrible. It sounds like the whole city’s burning. But you look back and most of those are just small fires. A lot of small cooking fires, some vehicles, some grass fires. So much like other probably many communities, we really haven’t had too many big fires,” said Education Officer Jason Johnson.
Tortillotte and Johnson also credit advancements in the ingredients used in building materials as a big factor in the declining number of so-called working fires.
“We believe people are listening because our major fires are down,” Tourtillotte said.
Johnson said even in the time he’s been a firefighter there have been fewer active fires every year.
“There were guys who had 20 or 30 years in. They were telling me we used to go out almost every night or every other night for an actual, real fire,” he said.
Tourtilotte also credited inspections for the decrease in structure fires.
“We have a great Code Enforcement Office in the city of Brewer. We do have a fire inspector that helps find those issues before they become big problems. Here in Brewer, we’ve done a great job of preventing tragedies from starting.