Two southeast Queens lawmakers partnered with city agencies Jan. 29 to host a fire safety forum in St. Albans in response to several deadly residential fires in the community.
Council members Daneek Miller and Adrienne Adams co-hosted the event at the Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Center — located at 172-17 Linden Blvd. — after 10 residents between the ages of 6 and 84 have lost their lives in fire incidents in the past five years.
“It takes a community to keep the community safe,” said Miller. “My district has suffered two fire-related deaths over the last month, and 10 over the last four years, but a single life lost is simply one too many. We’ve demonstrated our commitment to keeping each other safe by organizing fire safety events in the past, but we as a community can always do better, and sought to take a holistic approach on this particular occasion.”
In attendance were members of the New York City Fire Department, New York City Emergency Management, the Department of Buildings, the Human resources Administration, American Red Cross Greater New York region and Allstate Insurance.
Chief Edward Baggott, FDNY Queens Borough Commander, shared tips regarding the placement of space heaters, installation of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, cooking safety and escape planning. Other participants provided complimentary information on how to avoid hazardous building modifications, preserve important personal documents and apply for social safety net supports, emergency planning, and ensuring homeowners are insured for fire damage.
“The importance of having a working smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, creating an escape plan, and knowing how to prevent a fire are lifesaving lessons that FDNY members teach to New Yorkers throughout the city every single day,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “Fire safety education saves lives, and we’re grateful to Council members Miller and Adams, and Senator Comrie for hosting this important forum to help deliver these critical messages directly to the residents of southeast Queens.”
“Fire prevention is more than smoke alarms and fire escape plans,” said Adams. “True fire prevention means assessing the cause of fires and taking proactive steps to minimize the potential for these tragedies in homes. We have suffered a series of unfortunate residential fires in southeast Queens recently, and I am happy to partner with my colleagues to co-host this valuable program for our community.”
Senator Leroy Comrie commended Miller for bringing together the FDNY, NYCEM and the Red Cross to host the critical forum for the community. “Recent tragedies in our community have reminded us of the importance of being fully educated on the dangers of fire and carbon monoxide in the home,” said Comrie.
According to the lawmakers, 10 lives have been lost to fire emergencies in Council District 27 in nearly five years:
Jan. 2019 – Ruth Andrade, 84
Dec. 2018 – Lamonies Smith, 16
April 2017 – Chayce Lipford, 2; Rayshawn Matthews, 10; Jada Foxworth, 16; Melody Edwards, 17; and Destiny Dones, 20.
April 2016 – Andre Reid, 69
Oct. 2014 – John and Andrew Kavanaugh, ages 11 and 6
To learn how to become #FDNYSmart and keep your family safe, visit www.fdnysmart.org.