On Oct. 7-9, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire burned out of control for three full days. The fire claimed 250 lives and destroyed 2,000 city acres. At the same time, in Peshtigo, Wisc., a massive fire claimed another 800 lives. In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the day of the fires Fire Prevention Day. Later, in 1922, President Warren Harding proclaimed Fire Prevention Week, always to be held on the week in which Oct. 9 falls.
This year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.” The Wilton Fire Department would like to emphasize that in a fire, every second counts. It is important for members of the community to know what to do if there is a fire. Fire safety education is not just for school children.