18 CES draws Kadena's Fire Prevention Week to a close Published Oct. 13, 2008 By Staff Sgt. Christopher Marasky 18th Wing Pulic Affairs KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 18th Civil Engineer Fire Department held their last Fire Prevention Week event, the "Fire Fest" Saturday as they drew their 14-day awareness campaign to a close. For the past two weeks, members of the fire department have been holding daily events to educate Airmen and their families on this year's theme, "Prevent Home Fires." "One of the biggest issues out there right now is unattended cooking," said Master Sgt. Richard Henderson, head of Kadena's Fire Prevention Office. "Here on Kadena we've already had five such incidents this year, and the last one, an individual lost his entire house from leaving his cooking unattended." According to the National Fire Protection Agency, fires in the home accounted for 78% of all fires in 2007, occurring at a rate of one fire every 76 seconds. Residential fires contributed to 84% of all fire related deaths in 2007, with nearly 3,000 casualties. During the two week campaign, the Fire Department held a number of events to raise awareness of fire safety to Team Kadena. They organized a fire muster at the Schilling Community Center and visited schools throughout the base. At the Ryukyu Middle School on Wednesday, firefighters gave students the opportunity to run through a confidence building fireman's obstacle course. The students were also charged with finding a rescue dummy inside of the "Smoke House", a trailer that safely simulates a house fire. "I think it's important to work with the schools to give the children an idea of what we do and what to do in the event of a fire," said Airman 1st Class Jace Yin, a Kadena firefighter. The school faculty and staff were grateful to the department for the visit. "We really appreciate this," said Ms. Margarite Levitt, a physical education teacher at Ryukyu Middle School. "The fire fighters are well organized and the kids are having fun, so they not only made it educational, but fun for the kids as well."