Posted at: 10/19/2012 5:39 PM
| Updated at: 10/19/2012 6:00 PM
By: Abigail Bleck
ALBANY--The fire on Benson Street has been ruled accidental. Meaning it wasn't arson. But Albany Fire Chief Robert Forezzi also says the victim, three year old Amari, was playing with incense that are believed to have started the fire.
Amari was transferred to the Shriner's Burn Unit, immediately after being pulled from 20 Benson Street on Wednesday, but she died at the hospital from the injuries she sustained on Thursday.
News of the death traveled quickly to Schenectady County Community College Friday, where a group of local social workers, probation officers, law enforcement, fire professional and educators gathered for a seminar entitled "Fireproof Children."
"Fire is a tool kids can use to express anger, call attention to themselves, to get revenge," explains Dr. Robert Cole, a presenter with Prevention First a company from Western New York.
Or, they can just be curious, adds Cole. Which is why the message Cole was sending home with the professionals so they can share it with the families they serve is so important.
1) Matches and lighters are a grown up tool
2) And if grown ups aren't doing their job, and leave dangerous items out, explain to kids that it them becomes their job to tell an adult.
Cole believes empowering young people is more effective than a discussion on cause and effect.
"Trying to explain what could happen 'if' is wasted on children so we need to turn it around and get young children doing something we want them to do."