Wannabee firefighters explored fire engines and quizzed Park Rapids firefighters during Saturday's open house.

The fire hall was open for public tours, and the Park Rapids crew fired up the grill to offer hamburgers and hot dogs with all the fixings for lunch.

While the family-friendly event entertains youngsters, it also serves to educate the public about fire prevention.

Using a dollhouse, firefighters lit a small fire in the "basement" to show the flow of smoke throughout a home.

"The purpose of this is to help reinforce, at night when you go to bed, have your doors closed," said firefighter Zach Deshayes.

The simple act of closing a bedroom door cuts off the smoke path and prevents smoke from building up inside the room, he explained. "If the fire starts in a different room, it gives you extra time inside that room to get out."

They reminded families to "never, ever, ever" go back inside a burning home to retrieve anything or anyone.

"If there's a house fire, don't back in for any reason," Deshaynes said. "We don't want to have to recover you. Nothing in that house is worth dying for. IF there is a person in that house, we will get that person. Don't go back in, please."

They urged families to practice fire drills at home and establish a safe meeting point.

Firefighters also demonstrated how to properly use a fire extinguisher: pull, aim, squeeze and sweep (PASS).