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BFD speaks about fire prevention after two apartment fires in the month of february

Written by on February 27, 2024

NORMAL, Ill. – After two apartment fires in the Bloomington-Normal area for the month of February, the Bloomington Fire Department provides tips to residents as to how to be better prepared in the event of a fire. 

A Feb. 14 fire, on Brickyard Drive, and most recently a Feb. 26 fire, on North Hershey Road, occurred in Bloomington, forcing residents out of their units and out on the street. In both events, Connect Transit provided buses to allow residents shelter and other organizations such as the Red Cross, Ameren and Nicor were on the scene as well to assess injury and damages. 

Bloomington Fire Department – Aerial view of Feb. 26 apartment fire on North Hershey Road.

In response to the Feb. 14 fire, Fire Chief Cory Matheny said, “Personnel worked hard to get ahead of this fire. Due to their efforts, no one was seriously injured, and the fire was confined and extinguished quickly.”

This result is not always the case. Fire prevention is important to ensure safety according to Captain and Public Information Officer Frank Friend. He recognizes the risks of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning within student housing and gives ways to prevent fires in the home

“We often hear things like this won’t happen to me because I buy flameless candles; I am careful to turn things off, I don’t overload my power strips,” Friend said. “This does not matter because although you may be the safe one in the complex, but your neighbor upstairs may not be.”

Friend expressed his stance on renters’ insurance, explaining that in the case of a fire caused by others, protection may be wanted by those not at fault. 

“We would like you to get renters insurance, because you may not be the problem, but it is very sad to talk to people and see those people go from being asleep, and everything being fine, to standing outside in their Uggs and pajamas,” Friend said. “Then they don’t have any of their possessions and are stuck out in the street.”

Frank reiterates that students should make sure they have renters’ insurance, working smoke detectors, fire extinguishers nearby, do not leave cooking unattended and make sure they are not overloading our power strips.