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Fire safety company created by Jackson Township students wins national award

Flame Guard, created after tragic fire, getting a shot at global recognition
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Posted at 5:02 PM, Jun 17, 2024

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A fire safety company created by Jackson Township High School students through a Junior Achievement class is getting national attention.

Last week, Flame Guard was honored as "Company of the Year" during the JA National Student Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.

Zach Ferguson, the chief financial officer of Flame Guard, said winning the award over 14 other companies from across the country was exciting and meant seeing the fruits of their labor.

Cell phone video, captured by Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio, shows the Jackson students jumping and hugging each other after the announcement was made.

"It was amazing. Actually, I wear an Apple watch and it started a workout because my heart was going so fast," Ferguson said.

Wearing matching suits and orange ties, five students received trophies and $3,000 scholarships.

Flame Guard now advances to a worldwide competition and will be one of six teams that could win the Global Entrepreneurship Award through Junior Achievement.

The winning team will be announced next February and will receive $15,000.

The teens were motivated to make a difference following the 2023 Jackson Township fire that killed a family of four: Jeffrey and Talia Hawk and their children, Amelia and Javen.

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"It really means a lot for us to be able to help people in our community and spread the message that house fires can happen to you," Ferguson said.

The company sells 1-story fire safety kits for $69.99 and 2-story kits for $129.99. The kits include a fire extinguisher, a fire blanket, a smoke detector, burn gel, heat-resistant gloves and a respirator mask. There's also a 13-foot ladder in the two-story kit.

News 5 first spoke to the company leaders last January when they had about $2,000 in sales. Since then, sales have jumped to about $18,000.

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"Our sales, we saw our sales, like, grow exponentially," said Justin Lackey, the CEO of Fire Guard.

Lackey will attend Ohio State University in the fall, and Ferguson is heading off to the University of Akron, but the duo— along with several other current or former Jackson students— plan to keep selling the kits.

"It's just so great knowing that from this negative event, we turned around and did something positive," Lackey said.

The teens feel what the company stands for— to save lives— is too important to go away.

"We want to be able to grow this, so that even our country and the world can be prepared and ready for house fires," Ferguson said.

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