NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – October is National Fire Prevention month.

Thursday, a famous Yankees fireballer educated a group of elementary school students on fire safety as part of the Hartford Junior Fire Marshall Program.

CBS2’s Steve Overmyer was at FDNY Engine59/Ladder 30 on West 133rd Street for the lesson.

“This is confusing and discombobulating. This is scary if you’re in the middle of something like this,” Overmyer said. He was struggling to find his way through the FDNY’s “smokehouse,” a converted trailer. In the smokehouse, you can’t see six inches in front of your face, Overmyer reported.

So would you know how to escape a smoke filled room? It’s part of the FDNY’s fire education program.

“It was scary, but it wasn’t so scary. I had my friends by my side,” said 7-year-old DeShawn Crawford. “It was dark and smoky… my friends were [waving their hands] but the smoke did not leave.”

Fire deaths in New York City increased by 50 percent in 2017, but data shows a reduction by educating children – this year, with a little star power.

Mariano Rivera became famous saving games for the Yankees. Now he’s helping to save lives.

“These boys and girls are here to learn about the value of life and the precautions we need to take when something happens like a fire,” Rivera said.

The greatest closer in baseball history asked the kids to take a pledge to learn fire safety.

“Never try to put out a fire by myself,” Rivera asked the kids to pledge.

They kids replied, “I will.”

Real firefighters were on hand to educate and inspire.

“If you learn nothing else, it’s to be safe,” said Kenyatta Spellman of Engine 59. “Stay low and go in case there’s a fire.”

The kids learned firemen have to carry 70 pounds of equipment, and the button on the steering wheel makes a big sound.

“I like the horn because everybody was shocked. Want me to try again?” DeShawn said.

This was far from a quiet day in the firehouse. But instead of putting out fires, enthusiasm was sparked.

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