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Firefighters visit Shoal Creek Elementary
Students who lost classmates in house fire plan for how to escape fire
RCFR-and-DeKalb-fire-at-Shoal-Creek-Elementary-DSC 0070

Rockdale firefighters recently paid a visit to Shoal Creek Elementary, the school attended by the children who had died in the Jan. 8 house fire, at the request of students and educators. 

Rockdale County Fire and Rescue was invited when students began questioning what to do in the case of a fire.

Several of the children killed in the Jan. 8 house fire in the Pinedale neighborhood attended Shoal Creek Elementary - including 9-year-old Ah’Dariya Glass and 7-year-old Dar’Shawn Glass. The surviving 6-year-old Glass sibling also had attended SCE.  Their loss affected students, teachers, administrators and the Shoal Creek community.

Rockdale County and Dekalb County Fire-Rescue partnered together and worked to address the entire school on fire safety. Smoke alarms, home escape plans, and stop drop, and roll were some of the fire safety behaviors that were covered in the presentations.   

Dekalb County Fire Rescue’s assistance made the presentation very effective with their fire safety house, a travel trailer that is scaled down to a one level house and allows children to experience a simulated fire-like situation in a home setting where the children practice their escape plan as the fire safety house fills with non-toxic smoke, and “Q,” a specially trained Dalmatian that teaches fire safety behaviors to children verbally and physically.

Throughout the day, more than 700 children were able to learn the importance of fire safety education.  

“Both teachers and children raved about the presentation throughout the next week. The enthusiasm and caring support these fire fighters showed as they taught our children, was phenomenal,” said Shoal Creek counselor Melissa Keefer.

"The students had some great questions to ask of the firefighters and took the information very seriously. We learned later that many students had also done the 'homework' that the educators had asked them to do —they had discussed their family safety plans at home."

Keefer continued, "We know that lives were changed that day as families from our school went home and assessed their own homes for unsafe conditions. It was time well spent. Our teachers want to do this every year!"

For more information on fire education or to request a smoke detector or assistance with a smoke detector, contact the RCFR at (770) 278-8401.