I learned a shocking statistic: Every 2 1/2 hours, someone dies in a fire in the United States. What can we do about it to be more prepared?
Gary Hale, who is the fire marshal at Central Emergency Services, told me having working smoke detectors and an escape plan saves lives. Hale has been the fire marshal here since 1992.
October is Alaska's Fire Prevention Month and it's a time to remember to implement those things in our homes. Who knows, it may just save your life.
"Ninety percent of homes have a fire detector, but only one-fourth to one-third have working fire detectors," Hale said.
If you've been thinking about it, now may be the time to get those detectors checked and make sure the batteries are working. If you don't have a smoke detector you can receive one free from Central Emergency Services at 231 S. Binkley St.
Fire departments in the United States respond every 25 seconds to a call and structural fires are reported every minute.
"We see only 26 percent of people that actually practice an escape plan," Hale said.
It's important to talk about and practice a fire drill escape plan (including a place to meet outside afterward) from your home. Having a mock drill and going through the motions of actually exiting your home, will give you a chance to see what you might need to improve on if it should be for real.
"Knowing you have working smoke detectors and having practiced an escape plan, you have a 50 percent chance of escaping a fire," Hale said.
On a lighter and more musical note, an evening of music will be held at the sixth annual "Evening of Classics" at 7 Saturday at the Christ Lutheran Church in Soldotna. It is a fundraiser for the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra. Coproduced by Susie Lee and Maria Allison, many local musicians will perform a variety of classical music.
The Central Peninsula Youth and Community Orchestra, directed by Mellisa Nill, the Redoubt Chamber Orchestra, directed by Tammy Vollom-Matturro, also will perform. Other soloists and ensembles include Passing Brass Quintet, the Kalgin Island Quartet, Lords and Ladies (a new quartet made up of high school string players, Eddie Lee, Laura Bosela, Andrew Bosela and James Pazar), Erin Southwick, flautist, Emily Grossman, violinist, Audra Faris, soprano vocalist, Sue Biggs, violinist, Molly Watkins, flautist and Natasha Vaissenberg, pianist.
Master of ceremonies will be Jean Brockel. The price of admission is $10 for adults, $5 for youth 12 and under. Donations will be accepted.
For more information, call 283-3024.
Other Soldotna news
Hollier-Pellegrom have a baby
Sarah Hollier-Pellegrom and Abraham Pellegrom of Soldotna, announce the birth of their daughter, Claire Francis Ryan Pellegrom, at 7:28 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, 2007, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. She weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces and measured 19.5 inches.
She joins sibling, Zane Edward Wyatt. Her grandparents are Gary and Debra Hollier of Soldotna, Rocky Foley and Angie Douthit and Tom and Tamera Pellegrom of Kenai and Sharon Pellegrom of Dolores, Colo.
Her great-grandparents are Harvey and Nita Douthit of Soldotna, Edward and Joanna Hollier of Kenai, Roger and Mary Pellegrom of Harbor Springs, Mich., and Eddie and Jerry Mech of Belvedere, Tenn.
Raffle fundraiser continues
The Skyview High School volleyball booster club is holding a raffle fundraiser. The prizes are a locally handmade log rocker, a large hand-carved and hand-painted wooden salmon and a rustic handmade wooden welcome sign. Tickets are $5 each and available for purchase until right before the drawing, which is Friday before the varsity game at the school.
For more information, call Lesley West at 260-6666 or Kit Lamborn at 260-3083.
Hospice seeks volunteers
Hospice of the Central Peninsula is seeking volunteers who can commit two to three hours a week for two months at a time and attend a 20-hour training session. Fall training will start the third Monday of October. For more information, call at 262-0453.
Cameras, photo printers sought
The Soldotna Rotary Club is seeking donations of working digital cameras and photo printers for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District's art program. Equipment may be dropped off at Sweeney's Clothing or Joe Kashi's law office.
For more information, call 398-0480.
Kids reading program continues
Kids are invited to join the Triumvirate Bookstore Frequent Reader Program. Upon signing up, kids can pick out one free book, a reading calendar and reading program rules at the bookstore in the Peninsula Center Mall in Soldotna. Bookstore hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Each time a reader returns their initialed calendar (weekly or monthly) to the bookstore, they can pick out another free book and get their calendar punched. Get up to four extra punches each month for special activities like reading to a younger sibling, attending a storytelling session, reading to a nonparent adult or filling out a "kid's pick" sheet on your favorite book.
For more information, call 953-7262.
Donations sought for military personnel
The Peninsula Yellow Ribbon club is in the process of making thank you gift baskets for returning soldiers and Marines.
Community members interested in donating a gift, a gift card or making a thank you card for the baskets are asked to call Bill and Carol Keller at 262-0492 or 394-1072.
Arrangements can be made to pick up donations.
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