Firefighters Form Coalition To Spot Young Firebugs

Jason Rima

Photo: Image by KTTS File Photo

Firefighters Form Coalition To Spot Young Firebugs

CREATED May. 29, 2013

A coalition of eight local fire departments are working together to keep kids from setting fires.

Nixa assistant fire chief Whitney Weaver says numbers from the United States Fire Administration show 75-percent of kids between the ages of three and 17 experiment with fire.  

And for every 100 people who die in fires, 24 are killed because children are playing with fire.

Weaver says most kids start by playing with matches or the bar-b-que grill, often not knowing what they're doing.

He says the Southwest Missouri Youth Fire Intervention Coalition will take referrals about kids who play with fire or set with fire.

From there, fire investigators can interview kids to see if they need professional help.

Mercy has signed on to offer one free counseling session to children who need it.

Springfield firefighters say one child has already gone through the program.  

Fire departments from Springfield, Nixa, Willard, Ozark, Strafford, Logan-Rogersville, Battlefield, and Branson are part of the coalition.

The departments set up a database to share information on kids who set fires in case they set more in the future.