WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita firefighters spent hours Thursday night battling a salvage yard fire near 29th and Hoover. Firefighters called in 16 crews because of the lack of water in the area. Water wasn’t the only problem, so were onlookers.
Four young Wichita girls ranging in age from nine to 11 quickly noticed the issue. The girls were playing outside when they noticed cars speeding through their neighborhood, they acted quickly.
“They wanted to do something about it and our neighbor jokingly said you guys should make a sign,” Caroline Taton, 11, said.
Despite it being a joke, the girls decided to make a sign to help both firefighters and their neighborhood.
The girls stood on a corner carrying a sign that read, “no fire here, turn around.”
They stood there for an hour-and-a-half hoping to stop Curious Joes.
“Cause it blocks the firefighters from getting to the fire to put it out and that’s really dangerous cause the fire can actually spread to different places,” Nevelyn Kessler, 9, said.
“It helped it made an impact. We had people turned around,” Taton said.
Wichita councilman Brian Frye and Fire Marshal Stuart Bevis thanked the girls for their initiative, rewarding them with a Wichita flag, firefighter hats, and other goodies.
“We really don’t want you flocking to a scene or clogging up the area. When that happens , it can lead to issues in response, or in this case, it can have secondary issues where we have a large amount of traffic in an area that is not meant to have that,” Bevis said.
“They recognized that challenge that it was a safety issue, and I just thought that was pretty cool for these young ladies to recognize that and wanting to keep their neighborhood safe,” Frye said.
The recognition is inspiring the girls to continue their leadership to help others.
“It made me have more self-confidence,” Kessler said.
“Yeah like that we could have a bigger impact,” Taton said.
Bevis said he hopes the girls’ story will be a reminder to others to stay away from an emergency and make room for first responders to do their job.
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