This activity is from Scholastic Literacy Place. Page 1 of 2

At the Scene of a Fire
by Lyle Warshaw

As you read the story, write your questions and ideas about it on a separate piece of paper. Then complete the next page.

Certainly you've heard the sirens signaling that a firetruck is on its way to a fire. You've also seen the large red trucks rushing through the streets while cars and pedestrians move out of the way.

Perhaps you've envied the firefighters holding tightly to the side of the truck as it races by. What will these courageous public servants do when they reach the blazing scene? In most parts of the country, they will follow a standard plan of action.

First, the engines must get to the exact location of the fire. Once there, the firefighters rescue the people who are in the most immediate danger. Sometimes they have to raise ladders and platforms to help people out of burning upper floors. Other times, firefighters use axes and crowbars to break into areas that are sealed off.

When everyone is safe, the firefighters focus on containing the fire--keeping it from spreading. They lay hoses in hallways or even in nearby streets. Next, they use streams of water to "knock down" the flames and extinguish the fire. The final step in the process is called overhauling. This includes searching through every ash and ember to make sure that no flames are left. Then, and only then, can they declare the fire fully extinguished.

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Answer Key

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