Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -  The Rochester Fire Department has scheduled open houses this week as part of national Fire Prevention Week.

They will be held at all five fire stations Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. There will be fire truck and equipment displays, fire extinguisher demonstrations and free fire hats for children.

According to the Fire Department, Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871. While the Great Chicago Fire was the best-known blaze to start during this fiery two-day stretch, it wasn't the biggest. That distinction goes to the Peshtigo Fire, the most devastating forest fire in American history. The fire, which also occurred on October 8th, 1871, roared through northeast Wisconsin, burning down 16 towns, killing 1,152 people, and scorching 1.2 million acres before it ended.

Each year more than 3000 people still die as a result of fires. While  Rochester has not experienced any fire deaths in recent years, there were 41 fire deaths in Minnesota in 2014 and so far this year, the total has risen to at least 36.

This year the slogan is “Hear the Beep where you Sleep”. The department says about half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep.

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