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CLIFTON PARK: Bus answers burning questions

Smoke is billowing under the bedroom door, and the door is hot to the touch. What do you do next?

After touring Clifton Park's new fire safety bus, unveiled earlier this month, local kids will have an answer to that question.

The converted school bus features mock-ups of a living room, kitchen and bedroom. The bedroom and kitchen are equipped with artificial smoke generators, and the bedroom has a heated door that kids can touch and a window they can practice crawling out of in the case of a fire.

The program's all about fire safety and how to use it and not hurt yourself and your family, Building Director Steve Myers said. "It's geared mostly toward children, teaching them how to be fire-safe early on in life that they carry through their whole life."

Myers' department was responsible for the $30,000 project, which included a town contribution of approximately $8,000. The rest was donated or raised by sponsor advertisements, which line the outside windows of the bus.

The bus was finished in time for fire prevention week, which was Oct. 7 to 13. The town board unanimously passed a resolution recognizing fire prevention week at the Monday, Oct. 8, meeting.

"That's a first-class job," Supervisor Phil Barrett said. "We're going to reach a whole lot of kids in this town, and we're going to give them some extra knowledge and tools when it comes to dealing with a fire in their home."

The rooms in the bus include computer monitors, which will eventually play instructional videos. The town is touring local schools with the bus, and Myers said about 10 kids spend approximately five minutes in each room of the bus.

"The kids love climbing out the window. Kids over the weekend came through like 20 times just so they could climb out the window," Myers said. "They love it. They think it's the greatest thing."

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