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(Photo Courtesy James Abner)

(Photo Courtesy James Abner)

Artesia Fire Department firefighter Brendan Harvey watches as a Park Junior High student extinguishes a simulated kitchen fire Tuesday at the school. Harvey and Fire Marshal James Abner spent the day teaching the family and consumer science students the importance of fire and injury prevention in the kitchen. This is the fourth year of the combined effort to ensure the next generation understands safety in the home. Kitchen fires are the leading cause of home fires, the second-leading cause of fire fatalities, and one of the leading causes of injury in the home. The National Fire Protection Association reports unattended cooking is the leading factor contributing to kitchen fires. Ranges or cooktops are the most common sources of heat for such fires and are usually associated with combustibles being placed too close to the source. “We hope that the kids take away something that might prevent a fire or injury in the future,” said Abner, “and we really want to thank Principal Cody Skinner and Dawnell Massey, who allowed us to integrate the students’ curriculum with our safety education.”