Mother of Victim in Marist Tragedy Promotes Fire Safety in Woodbridge

Cristal Reyes

Spending an afternoon promoting fire safety in memory of a perished daughter isn’t exactly what any mother is thrilled about. However, that is exactly how Barbara Block spent her afternoon. In hopes that no mother ever has to receive the phone call that she received on January 21: a phone call that informed her of her daughter, Eva’s, tragic death. Eva Block was an up and coming Marist College student studying fashion and design. The house fire that took her daughter’s life also tragically took the lives of three others. The cause is still unknown.

Barbara Block informed a crowd of over 500 people about fire safety; she emphasized on the need of having an escape plan. In addition, individuals were urged to practice the escape plans.  Smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detectors were also handed out.

She stated, “Education about fire safety and prevention is so very important, and I will continue to try to speak to everyone in the community…My daughter Eva Ryan Block was loved by everyone, and losing her has changed my life forever…I cannot bring her back, but I can use my voice to help others. I have gotten a tremendous amount of support from the community — family, friends and others I don’t even know.”

Firefighters played a major part in Block’s presentation. They demonstrated many maneuvers, such as how to use fire extinguishers. Also, they informed the crowd of many tips that are useful when facing a fire. One of the most important tips being: not having frayed cords in one’s kitchen.

Block even mentioned that she has future plans to speak regularly to the seniors of Amity Regional High School about fire prevention and safety in hopes that more tragedies can be prevented.