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Fire fest will honor 90th anniversary of Cleveland School fire

Posted: September 20, 2013 5:10 p.m.
Updated: September 23, 2013 1:00 a.m.

The 18th Annual Camden/Kershaw County Fire Fest will take place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rhame Arena (517 Bull St.) in Camden. A part of this year’s event will mark the 90th anniversary of the historic Cleveland School Fire -- a fire at a Camden-area school in 1923 that killed 77 people. Because of the Cleveland School Fire, the most deadly in state history, many laws, building codes, regulations, and ordinances have been passed across the nation to prevent this type of tragedy from ever happening again.

This year’s event will also have a few other new elements in addition to the annual parade of fire trucks, food, music, the Explorers competition, skydivers, and all-day family fun!

One of the new additions will be a “Battle of the Badges” blood drive, where local police officers and firefighters will compete in a blood donation challenge to benefit the Red Cross. This year’s fire prevention and safety efforts will also include a kitchen fire demonstration.  

The city of Camden and Kershaw County are offering this free event so that citizens and visitors can learn about the importance of fire prevention and fire safety. The annual event is always held the last week of September to kick off National Fire Prevention Month at the beginning of October. The Camden Fire Department (CFD), led by Chief John Bowers, partners with neighboring fire departments for a day of activities and education.

“In addition to teaching citizens around the Midlands about the value of knowing how to prevent fires, Fire Fest has two other objectives,” Bowers said. “First, it gives our citizens a chance to get to know their local firefighters. Second, it is an opportunity for firefighters from different departments to meet each other before they have to work together on an emergency scene.”

For more information, visit the CFD Facebook page or call 425-6042.

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