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Press Releases / 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 5, 2010

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

FOLLOWING THREE SERIOUS FIRES SET BY CHILDREN, COMMISSIONER CASSANO REMINDS CONCERNED PARENTS ABOUT FDNYS JUVENILE FIRE SETTERS INTERVENTION PROGRAM

Following three serious fires started by children in less than three weeks, Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano said FDNY’s Juvenile Fire Setters Intervention Program can help parents concerned about their child’s inappropriate interest in fire.  Anyone interested in the free program can call 311 for more information.

“In the past few weeks, 15 people have been injured and an 11-year-old boy in Brooklyn died as a result of children playing with matches or a lighter,” Commissioner Cassano said. “We want everyone to know that there is help so they can contact us before it’s too late.  The Juvenile Fire Setters Intervention Program is completely free and works with families in productive ways to help children of various ages realize the dangers they pose to themselves and others when they play with fire.”

On Feb. 27, six people were injured in a fire at 2426 Grand Ave. in the Bronx caused by two children playing with a lighter.  On Feb. 15, nine people were injured at 785 Pelham Parkway North in the Bronx caused by a child playing with matches.  All three of those children have been referred to the Juvenile Fire Setters Intervention Program.  On Feb. 16, an 11-year-old boy was killed at 2970 West 24th St. in Brooklyn after he set a fire in an apartment there.

Established in 1988 by the Bureau of Fire Investigation, the program is designed to identify at-risk children and address the behavior and any underlying issues that may cause the behavior.  Fire Marshals contact the family and arrange for a home or office visit and use age-specific materials to help the child, including DVDs, role play, fire safety education and an evaluation of the household.

The program is most appropriate for children who have set fires or shown an inappropriate interest in fire.

Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Steve Ritea, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

http://www.nyc.gov/fdny

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