The arena at the Pine Bluff Convention Center was rocking Thursday morning as Spiderman, SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer helped Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Department personnel teach a large group of preschoolers about fire safety.

The arena at the Pine Bluff Convention Center was rocking Thursday morning as Spiderman, SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer helped Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Department personnel teach a large group of preschoolers about fire safety.


Chief Shauwn Howell said the annual Fire and Life Safety Day is a part of the department’s observance of National Fire Prevention Week, and was geared mainly toward youngsters.


"Our ultimate goal is for the kids to carry what they learn about fire safety now through the rest of their lives," Howell said, explaining that department personnel work to reinforce those lessons regularly and have done programs in the city’s elementary schools as a part of the week-long observance.


In addition to a variety of fire trucks on display, the Pine Bluff Police Department had its bounce houses on hand, and all the children and their teachers received a free hot dog, chips and a drink.


"We’ve had a lot of success with this every year and we couldn’t have done this without the help of a lot of businesses and individuals," Howell said.


Each year, fire prevention week is built around a theme and Howell said the theme this year is kitchen fires.


According to national statistics, more residential fires occur in kitchens than anywhere else in the house While talking about the events at the convention center, Howell also mentioned that the department offers free smoke alarms and home safety inspections upon request.


"Anybody that needs a smoke alarm can call us and we will come out and install it," Howell said.


For information or to request a smoke alarm, call 543-5150.