fire-fair-2008A young visitor to last year’s edition of the fair came dressed for the occasion, and got a demonstration in putting out a fire.

It’s a party, of sorts, with a serious purpose: to educate and remind Red Bankers how to prevent fires, and how to respond when they occur.

If tradition holds, it will also be the place to get the biggest honkin’ free hamburgers you’re ever likely to bite into.

We’re talking about the Red Bank Volunteer Fire Department’s ninth annual Fire Prevention Expo and Free Barbecue, scheduled for Sunday in the White Street parking lot from 11a to 3p. The rain date is Sunday, October 18.

The event features demonstrations and games for kids that give kids a sense of what it’s like to be a firefighter. There’s a trailer set up like a kitchen that simulates what happens when smoke fills a room, used to train children and adults alike about how to react. There’s a demo of how firefighters extract accident victims from a crash-damaged car.

It’s all free, including the barbecue (while the food lasts).

By the way, this is Fire Prevention Week, which has its roots in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres in 27 hours.

For more information about the fair, contact deputy borough clerk Pam Borghi at 732.530.2797 or email deputy fire marshall Tom Welsh at