Mayor Gary W. Starr, along with each member of Middleburg Heights City Council, the Fire Department, and the Police Department, would like to express our deepest sympathies and offer our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Michael D’Onofrio, who lost his life in one of the three devastating fires that occurred here in Middleburg Heights this past April.

— from Briant Galgas, Fire Chief

Last month, the City of Middleburg Heights experienced three disastrous residential fires. Each fire resulted in a significant loss to our residents and our community.

Mayor Starr has taken a firm stance on this safety issue, saying, “It is my goal to try and keep each and every individual that lives, works or comes through Middleburg Heights safe and out of harm’s way. In my attempt to do so, I have directed our Chief of Fire, Briant Galgas, and our Safety Director, Sandra Kerber, to help educate and instruct all of us on tips that we can use in our daily lives to stay safe.”

The city will be posting safety tips and stories throughout the next few months on our website. Please be sure to keep coming back for more information, and share the information with loved ones, neighbors and friends.

I kindly request that each of our residents take a moment and review all of these safety tips – it may be lifesaving. Here are three initial tips:

The first and most imperative tip is to have working smoke detectors. Simply stated, smoke detectors save lives!

Why? Working smoke detectors cut the risk of dying in a fire by half. Having the right smoke detector could provide your family with more time to escape a fire.

Second, have a plan to escape. Make sure you know two ways out of your home and practice it regularly. Make sure family members who require special assistance evacuating (children, elderly or disabled) know the plan, and address any special concerns before a fire emergency occurs.

Finally, fireproof your home. Remove hazards before they become a problem. Keep working fire extinguishers available, know how to use them, and know how to dial 911.

We called around to different stores in Middleburg Heights. Ace Hardware located at Bagley and Pearl has photoelectric smoke detectors in stock for approximately $17.00.

Here are some fire safety websites I suggest you, your family and your co-workers review to help make our community a fire resilient one:

Thank you.

Chief Briant Galgas