Springfield Fire Department

City of Springfield

Each year, the Springfield Fire Department hosts an awards ceremony to honor its personnel.  At the annual event last night, dozens were recognized.  Among them were several members of Springfield Water Rescue Team who performed dangerous swift water rescues during flooding over the last year.  Two civilians who went into a burning house in January to rescue two young were also honored.

Assistant chief of operations, David Pennington, was named Fire Officer of the Year and rescue specialist, Jeff Elliott, was named Firefighter of the Year.

Katy Warner / via Flickr

Springfield students whose families are in need of a smoke alarm will receive one thanks in part to a donation from the Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield.

The organization announced Wednesday afternoon its intention to donate 400 of the devices to the Springfield Fire Department’s free smoke alarm program.

Department officials will be visiting kindergarten through 5th grade classes as part of October’s Fire Prevention Month. Surveys will be issued asking about a family’s smoke alarm inventory, and any family needing one will be contacted.

Tim Balogh / Flickr

The first half of 2015 has seen a significant drop in fires in the city of Springfield.  The number of fires fell 28 percent from the first half of 2014.  Last year between January 1st and July 1st, there were 484 fires in the city, and during the same period this year there were 349.

Structure fires also fell 28 percent this year—dropping from 173 during the first half of 2014 to 124 so far in 2015.

Kathryn Eutsler/KSMU

Two major fires in Springfield apartment buildings this week have firefighters urging residents to be more aware of fire prevention methods.

The first fire happened on Sunday morning at Madison Tower.

“There are a lot of lessons to be learned from these two fires.”

That’s Cara Erwin, fire and life safety educator for the Springfield Fire Department. She says on Sunday, combustibles too close to the stove caught fire after a resident’s stove was unintentionally turned on.

Kathryn Eutsler/KSMU

The Springfield Fire Department is offering free home safety inspections to identify potential fire risks for homeowners. KSMU's Kathryn Eutsler attended an inspection and spoke with firefighters about the importance of these precautions.

Eighty percent of Springfield’s fatal fires happen in residences, according to the fire department, which hopes to reduce this percentage with home safety inspections.