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Fire safety workshop held in the Bronx in an effort to prevent future tragedies

Fire safety workshop conducted at Bronx Zoo
Fire safety workshop conducted at Bronx Zoo 02:21

NEW YORK -- Bronx officials are trying to stay ahead of potential fires in the borough by conducting fire safety workshops with residents with a little added incentive.

The Bronx Zoo became a venue for fire safety education for Bronx families Saturday.

FDNY Firefighter William Martinez demonstrated to generations of Bronxites what they can do to prevent fires and the importance of an escape plan.

"We fear that these things would happen, but then at the same time, we're not really prepared for it," Bronx resident Karla Cabrera Carrera said.

The Bronx and FDNY's fire safety training workshop was eye-opening for Cabrera Carrera and Steven Perez, from Morris Park. He shares that his apartment building doesn't conduct any fire safety drills -- something he'd like to see.

"No training, no. We are up to code, so to speak, but no training, so this is very helpful for us," he said.

"We need to do a better job. We can do a better job," Bronx resident Daniel Porro said.

Porro is all too familiar with the frequency of fires he's seen in his borough, never forgetting the tragic death of 17 people out of the Twin Parks apartment building in Tremont just over two years ago, which fire officials say was spread by an open door. Porro is concerned over the gaps he's seeing on his door in the apartment he got through emergency Section 8 housing.

"Even with my door closed, we could still get smoke in the apartment," he said.

The year has already seen flames tear through buildings in the borough, including one less than a week ago in the Soundview section, injuring six, displacing dozens. The Bronx has been working with the FDNY on conducting fire safety workshops throughout the borough, aimed especially at high-risk populations like seniors.

"As we empower our residents with education, we will see a reduction," Bronx Deputy Borough President Janet Peguero said.

Those who came to Saturday's workshop got free tickets to the Bronx Zoo. Some of the borough's youngest residents want to see the fire safety training they get in school implemented in their apartment buildings.

The goal is to hold fire safety education workshops every two weeks at different locations throughout the Bronx. The next one will be held at Tracy Towers in early February.

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