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Students, firefighters make milk jug castleSubmitted: 01/24/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Students, firefighters make milk jug castle
EAGLE RIVER - Firefighters know the importance of getting to know children.

It makes children more comfortable with them in an emergency.

But instead of showing kids their oxygen tanks and masks, firefighters bonded
with local kids over milk jugs.

"This is one of our favorite days of the year in kindergarten. The kids just
have an absolute blast. We all do. Teachers do, too," said Kindergarten teacher
Sarah Simac.

Everyone knows about the Eagle River Ice Castle.

And all Northland Pines Elementary kindergarteners know about the milk jug
castle.

"Ice castles are really cool," said kindergartener Tommy Burr.

"We're here working with the kindergarten class building the ice castle out of
milk jugs to kind of replicate what we did downtown with the actual ice," said
Eagle River firefighter Michael Anderson.

This was the 4th year the Eagle River Area Fire Department and kindergarteners
built a milk jug castle.

It took more than 200 gallon-size jugs to build it.

"We have families donate [the milk jugs]. Firefighters bring them in. Kids
bring them in. The whole school chips in," explained Simac.

"It's a lot warmer working in here with the kids. It's a lot more fun to get
the kids involved," added Anderson.

The firefighters also showed students how they build the real ice castle in
downtown Eagle River.

They also helped the children make ice castle art.

"It's important for us to get into the school and work with the kids to build
that familiarity in case they ever do have a fire in their house. Then they're
more comfortable working with us and helping them to get them out of their
residence," said Anderson.

Kindergartener Tommy Burr said building the castle with firefighters was even
more special.

"Because they're firemen and they help us," explained Burr.

After a couple hours, the kids were able to step back and look at their
creation.

It looked very similar to the real ice castle.

The experience inspired some of the children.

"I want to be a firefighter when I grow up," said kindergartener Maddy Gosden.

"I decided this year I wanted to be a fireman when I grow up. It's really
cool," said Burr.

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