Helen Hunt Elementary Fire

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A fire breaks out at a District 11 elementary school in Colorado Springs,

However, firefighters had more to do than just fight the fire. They also battled wind, heavy rain, and small hail stones falling from the sky.

Firefighters believe the fire was sparked somewhere in the basement of Helen Hunt Elementary School, located at the corner of Institute and Moreno.

It took firefighters about 25 minutes to get the flames under control. But, by the sheer number of firefighters involved, you would have thought the fire was much bigger. That's because more firefighters are sent out to battle a fire at any school.

Fortunately, school was not in session at the time of the fire around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday. A few maintenance workers and school employees were the only people inside the building. They all got out safely.

Workers were doing routine maintenance work in the basement and on the roof of the school. They were replacing filters in an air handling unit when they started to smell smoke.

Fire investigators say it's too early to determine what caused the fire. The investigation continues.

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Fire Safety Concerns

  • Each year, more than 600 children ages 14 and under die, and nearly 47,000 are injured, in fires.

  • Fires are a leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children in the United States.

  • There are time-tested ways to prevent fire-related injuries:

    • Installing smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area, for instance, cuts the chances of dying in a home fire in half.
    • Keeping matches, lighters, and other heat sources out of children’s reach can help eliminate child-play fires – the leading cause of fire-related death for children five and under.
    • Avoid plugging several appliance cords into the same electrical socket.
    • Keep flammable items such as clothing, furniture, newspapers or magazines away from the fireplace, heater or radiator.
    • Replace old or frayed electrical wires and appliance cords, and keep them on top of, not beneath rugs.
    • Preparation and education are key elements of preventing fire tragedies.
    • Planning and practicing a fire escape route with your family, and talking to your children about what to expect in a fire, are simple steps anyone can take.

  • A prepared child is more likely to escape unharmed.

  • More than 40 percent of residential fire-related deaths among children ages nine and under occur when the child is attempting to escape, is unable to act or is acting irrationally.

Source: http://www.safekids.org/tier2_rl.cfm?folder_id=171 (National Safe Kids Campaign Web site)