MONTCLAIR, NJ - On Friday, November 17 members of the Montclair Fire Department visited the Minnie Lucy Head Start School on Baldwin St, Glen Ridge to give school supplies and fire safety lessons to local children.

Chief John Herrmann, Deputy Chief Brian Wilde and Fire Inspector Imelda Muench were joined by the crew of Truck 1, Lieutenant John Benson and Fire Fighters Greg Murray and Kevin O'Brien to make a donation of backpacks, for each child at the school, courtesy of the "Lucia Papa Fund-Children's Fire Safety Program."

Each backpack contained school supplies as well as fire safety coloring books and prints outs to be shared with parents. The theme "Know Two Ways Out" is designed to encourage families to make a home escape plan and practice fire drills. The crew of Truck 1 donned their gear and explained the importance of getting out and to not be afraid to go to Fire Fighters, in their gear, should they ever be in a fire.

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This visit and the backpacks were made possible by the generosity of the children of Lucia Papa. On Christmas Eve 1948 the Papas lost three children to a house fire that nearly took the lives of Mr. Papa and their other remaining child as well. To honor their Mother's love through such tremendous loss the surviving daughter and her sister, born after the fire, established the Lucia Papa Fund, for the purpose of educating children about fire safety. A legacy that was borne of tragedy will continue to honor the memory of a Mother's desire for the safety and happiness of her children and other families, as well, through fire safety education.

Donations to the fund are welcome and may be sent to the Montclair Fire Department, 1 Pine St, Montclair NJ 07042. Please indicate the donation is for the fund when sending.