Course teaches boys respect for fire
KAREN McLucas was in shock the day she caught her two kids lighting a fire in a rubbish bin.
In an effort to teach them about the dangers of lighting fires, she took Alex (pictured left) and Ryan to the fire station and enrolled them in a fire safety course.
And she says the results have been amazing.
IT wasn't too long ago that 10-year-old Ryan and eight-year-old Alex McLucas had a fascination with lighting fires.
After the boys' mother Karen caught them lighting a fire in the bin, she became concerned about their safety.
A worried Karen put them into the car and took them directly to the fire station.
Karen said every child had a fascination but, when it came to their safety, it needed to stop.
After approaching the Observer Karen couldn't have been more pleased with the outcome after both her children attended the four-week fire fascination program.
She said she wasn't aware the program was there.
'However it certainly was beneficial for my children,' she said.
Ryan and Alex said they didn't realise the impact fire could have.
Alex said he and his brother didn't realise how life threatening lighting fires was.
'We watched a video of a boy and his friend making coconut bombs with petrol,' Alex said.
'One of the boys on the video got severely burnt with scars not only on his face but also his hands.
'He has to wear this bandage on his hand for two years, which would be horrible.'
Alex said he had learnt his lesson and the four-week program had helped him overcome his fire fascination.
'I didn't realise a fire can spark and create so much damage in just three minutes,' he said.
Gladstone Fire Station area director Ray Bohlsen said the program was a free education scheme in which there was no blame.
'The aim is to teach the children fire safety and encourage a positive way of thinking not only at home but also in the community,' he said.
'The program is confidential, all we have is their name, age and sex in our database.
'The program is four weeks with two hour sessions one day a week.'
Mr Bohlsen said the aim was to build children's self esteem to respond to the safety at home, where they were also asked to construct an evacuation plan.
'We provided them with scenarios of unsafe practices, for the safety of the whole family,' he said.
He said the fire service's aim was to have nil deaths caused by fires.