ST. LOUIS – Hundreds of kids and their families spent their Saturday trunk-or-treating at the St. Louis Fire Department Headquarters. It was free, filled with fun activities, and focused on safety.  

This is the fifth year of the department’s Fall Fire Safety Festival and the first time back since the start of the pandemic.

Cherri Merchant has been a firefighter at the department for 15 years. She organizes the event and says the turnout has been impressive, especially with the warm weather.  

“I am so overjoyed to see the vendors come out and support the fire department and also engage with the people in the community,” Merchant said.

Alexzia Johnson and her little sister Kiyomi were celebrating part of their birthdays there. Two-year-old Kiyomi arrived dressed up as a princess, while Alexzia got her face painted there on her Sweet 16.

“We’re just here to have fun,” she said. “Get some candy together.”

Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson even brought his granddaughter Penelope.

“This is a good time to bring the little kids out,” Chief Jenkerson said. “Have them see and experience a little bit more intimate Halloween, where you can visit different people, talk to the firefighters out there who are passing out candy, get a few tips on fire safety and fire prevention. [You can] meet the firefighters, meet the EMS members that are here, look at some of our trucks, look at the ambulances, look at the fire trucks, see the inside of our headquarters building, which most people don’t get to see.” 

SSM Health offered wellness checks inside the fire department’s headquarters, and the Missouri Fleet DJs had the tables turning outside.  

There were plenty of games, entertainment, tricks and treats for the kids.  

Cali, Kinzell and Cassidy told FOX 2 they loved the dancing, candy and bounce houses the most.  

And as everyone was having a good time, the fire chief wanted to remind people of a few important safety tips as we get into the holiday season.  

“Just slow down and pay attention to what’s going on inside your house when you’re cooking,” Chief Jenkerson said. “Everyone likes to smell a pumpkin spice candle, so let’s be very careful with those. Get a smoke detector, get a carbon-monoxide detector. Come visit the St. Louis Fire Department today.”