People in Oildale learn about fire prevention during free weekend seminar

PG&E and American Red Cross help with fire safety

BAKERSFIELD - Homeowners in Oildale are getting the chance to protect themselves and their property in the event of a fire emergency.

This weekend, the American Red Cross and Pacific Gas and Electric are teaming up for a life saving initiative.


More than forty homes were damaged and in some cases destroyed with families displaced in Oildale last year.


Now, fire safety crews hope to change those numbers with fire prevention education.


Melissa McCormick is no stranger to fires and is quickly learning how to prevent one from destroying her home.   


"I myself had a kitchen fire not too long ago and just knowing that you can put out a grease fire without water because you'll make it greater and all of those things.  It's a little worrisome, thank god mine was contained to the pan itself," she said.


Leaders with the central valley region's team Firestopper Program say there are too many fires happening in Oildale, but say having the proper tools can curb that problem and save lives. 


“A first aid kit is going into my emergency response kit, I already got the blankets and one of the flashlights, some of the food, and the non-perishable food items will be going into our emergency kits," she said.


Many of these families received free carbon monoxide and smoke detectors they can include their home as they begin to create an emergency plan.


"The families that have these in their home and are installed, I mean it's the difference between minutes and seconds to get out of your house during a home fire.  If there's a fire that starts in the kitchen, you now have a few minutes to get out rather grab your important family members and grab your important documents and get out in time," said Alex Villa with the American Red Cross.


Relief teams from the American Red Cross help disaster victims recover after home fires workers say can start and spread in an instant.


"A lot of the times that we respond to home fires, it's people who are cooking  and often forget that they have things going on, smoking in the bedroom, unattended candles," he said.


Event is the second in the central valley and the first in Kern County.

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