Volunteer firefighters and local moms came together at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday morning to promote a cause very-much on the minds of Stamford's parents since Christmas Day's fatal fire at 2267 Shippan Ave.: the protection of loved ones from devastating house fires.
The , where A Show of Support: Family Safety Day was held, was one of eight firehouses in Fairfield County to participate in the event, which was hosted by Belltown fire captain Peter Kokkoras and firefighter Peter Cogliano.
"After the unfortunate fire on Christmas Day, we felt the questions and concerns from local moms were numerous, too numerous to answer individually. Our members, as well as the general public, were getting conflicting answers from each other, and from different websites," CT-Moms Online founder Medha Thomas said.
CT-Moms, an organization active in fire prevention activities Christmas Day, also plan to give proceeds from Saturday's event to The Badger Family's developing charity foundation, The Other 364.
"We thought it would be great to have one event, one day to mark lives that were lost, but also to get accurate information about how to keep our homes and our families safe from fires," Medha said.
Moms weren't the only ones attending. Local fathers, such as Joe Kopilaa, came to teach their kids about fire safety, and while Kopilaa learned something in the process, he had his own opinions about the tragic Shippan Ave. fire itself.
"I think the contractor should've had backup measures in place to ensure the safety of the home, the children, and the family," Kopilaa said.
Saturday's fire prevention awareness event is the latest of many fire prevention measures taken by Stamford residents and officials since the Shippan Ave. fire occured. Other fire departments across the city, as well as the , have sponsored several smoke-detector giveaways in which the smoke-detectors always go fast, according to Mayor Michael Pavia.
According to Thomas, she learned a gained new respect for firefighters when she was organizing the event.
"I solidified that all firefighters are passionate, and want to educate our public about fire safety. More than that, they want to make sure that fires are prevented, and that not only are families safe, but their own men are safe, as well," Thomas said.
Parents at the event were pleased with the information given to them by Kokkoras and Cogliano, such as the correct usage of a fire extinguisher.
Late in the event, other volunteer firefighters donned their firefighting gear for the kids to show them what a firefighter looks like if one should ever come to their home to fight a fire, and that the kids should trust them under those circumstances.
Afterwards, the kids enjoyed themselves by exploring the fire engines in the Belltown FD garage.
Honoring the three children and two adults who died on Christmas morning at 2267 Shippan Ave., and any other victims of home fires across the country remained a focal point for CT-Moms Online's family safety day.
"I have one hope: that we will never have to host an event like this again," Thomas said.