Firefighters: The picture is taken at Oak Park's Fire Department with Gigi in the center with sister Tate. The fireman is Phil Conte. (Photo: Courtesy of Patrick Scanlon)

How far a little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed.

—Shakespeare

Before this past Labor Day weekend, young Gigi Scanlan, who recently turned 5, made a startling discovery while in the parking garage near the corner of Harlem Avenue and Lake Street. While leaving the FFC with her father, she noticed a faint smell of smoke in the air. She led her father to the source of the fire which was adjacent to the garage on Harlem Avenue. Apparently, the scorching hot day provided the right environment for the suspected motorist who tossed a flammable object from a vehicle that ignited the flame. The fire was extinguished.

Turns out, Gigi has some history in firefighting. Her grandmother grew up in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood (where her father made a “few bucks” on the side storing beer in the local church basement during Prohibition). That father was a firefighter who perished in the line of duty, 1871, the year of the Great Chicago Fire.

Gigi credits her teachers at West Suburban Montessori with teaching her about fire prevention.

Patrick Scanlan

Oak Park

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