Fire safety tips for preparing your Thanksgiving meal

Courtesy photoFrom left to right: Mark Duffy, Music & Youth Initiative board member; Gary Eichhorn, Music & Youth Initiative founder; Joan Eichhorn, Music & Youth Initiative founder; Frank Kenneally, Merrimack Valley YMCA chief operating officer; Michael Mancuso, Merrimack Valley YMCA and Music & Youth Initiative board member; and David Bickel, Music & Youth Initiative associate executive director.

As you get ready to pop that turkey in the oven, remember these fire safety tips.

The state fire marshal’s office in Massachusetts issued tips ahead of Thanksgiving, which is the No. 1 day for home fires in the commonwealth.

“Thanksgiving is a wonderful family holiday, but the day can be ruined with a cooking or candle fire, a burn injury or carbon monoxide from long-term use of the oven,” State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said.

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries, and is the cause of 87 percent of Thanksgiving Day fires, according to the fire marshal.

Preventative tips include:

“Stand by your pan” and stay in the kitchen when boiling, frying or broiling.

Use a timer when baking or roasting. Never leave the house with the oven running.

Should a stove-top fire occur, “put a lid on it” and turn off the heat.

The best way to respond to an oven or broiler fire is to keep the doors closed and turn off the heat.

If a fire is not quickly snuffed out, leave the house and call the fire department.

Keep children three feet away from the stove for safety and to prevent burns. Also turn pot handles inward over the stove.

YMCA Music Clubhouse rededicated

LAWRENCE — The Merrimack Valley YMCA held a ceremony earlier this month to rededicate its Music Clubhouse in honor of two of its founders.

An anonymous donor gave $25,000 to rededicated the Clubhouse in honor of Frank Kenneally and David Bickel, both of whom were instrument in its founding in 2005. Kenneally is the chief operating officer of the Merrimack Valley YMCA. Bickel is the associate executive director at the Music & Youth Initiative, which sponsors Music Clubhouse programs around the state in collaboration with organizations such as the YMCA.

The Clubhouse, in partnership with Lawrence Public Schools, provides music instruction to nearly 750 students through the Public School Enrichment Program. It also provides instruments and free music lessons in an after school program.

At the ceremony, which was held at the Lawrence YMCA at 40 Lawrence Street, Lawrence, Music & Youth Initiative Founder Gary Eichhorn unveiled a plaque that will hang in the entrance, naming the Music Clubhouse in honor of the pioneering work and passion of Kenneally and Bickel.

FKMV teams up with Amazon Smile to benefit foster kids

METHUEN — Foster Kids of the Merrimack Valley, a Methuen-based nonprofit that helps support foster children in the greater Lawrence and Haverhill area, is now partnering with Amazon Smile.

Amazon Smile Foundation will donate .5 percent of the price of eligible purchases to the nonprofit. To participate, visit and select a Foster Kids of Merrimack Valley as the charitable organization you wish to select.

Landlords Guild to meet Nov. 28

HAVERHILL — The Haverhill Landlords Guild will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at the Roma Restaurant, 29 Middlesex St., Bradford.

The guest speaker is attorney Maria Rogers. All landlords, property managers or those who might someday like to own income-producing property are invited to attend. 

You do not have to be a member of the Guild to attend this meeting. More information is available at

Used toy sale set in Derry

DERRY — St. Gianna’s Closet holds its annual used toy sale from 9 a.m. to noon on Dec. 2 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 26 Crystal Ave.

There will be a large selection of toys including dolls, puzzles, games, play sets, action figures, ride-on toys and much more. All proceeds go to support St. Thomas and its outreach/food pantry programs. Cash and carry, bring your own bags.

Lions Club to hold food drive

ATKINSON — The Atkinson Lions Club, in partnership with Atkinson Academy, will be conducting their annual food drive from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Dow Common on Main Street and Academy Avenue.

The community can drop off donations of non perishable food and household items. Cash donations will also be accepted. Atkinson Academy students will also be collecting can goods through Dec. 2. All proceeds of the food drive will be donated to local food pantries.

Learn about foster care

HAVERHILL — The public library will host an information session on Foster Care and Fostering to Adopt through the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) from 8 to 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 5.

DCF serves children of all ages from infants to adolescents, from every community, who need a home. If you’ve ever thought about opening your home to a child in need, this is the perfect opportunity to talk with DCF staff and foster parents. Adopters can be single, married, partnered, divorced or widowed, and can rent or own a home. 

Foster parents provide a supportive, healing environment for children who have been abused, neglected or removed from their homes due to unsafe or dangerous conditions. DCF is currently seeking foster parents from every city and town across the state so that children can receive care in the communities where they live and go to school.

Sign up is requested but not required. Walk-in are welcome the day of the talk.

To learn more about DCF, visit

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