Former New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera found himself in the Bronx once again on Tuesday, but instead of firing off a fastball, he was educating students about fire safety.

 

Rivera, along with the FDNY and The Hartford insurance and investment company, visited kindergarteners and first graders at P.S. 63 Author’s Academy as part of the 70th anniversary of the insurance and investment company’s Junior Fire Marshal program.

 

In addition to a seeing a simulated fire and smoke demonstration, touring fire trucks and trying on firefighter gear, the kids were also deputized as Junior Fire Marshals.

 

“The Bronx is a special place to me — it’s a community that has supported me throughout my career. I’m proud to be a part of an effort to educate children about how to prevent home fires and help keep this city and its residents safe,” Rivera said in a statement.

 
According to National Fire Protection Association, a house fire is reported in the U.S. every 86 seconds, with 33 percent of them started by children between the ages of 6 and 9. New York City ranks fourteenth in The Hartford Home Fire Index, a list of 100 U.S. cities with the highest risk of home fires — something the Bronx reports more of than every other New York borough.

The Hartford also donated $20,000 to the Bronx school district and the FDNY Foundation for fire safety education as part of a national $2 million fire-safety education initiative in those 100 cities.

The Junior Fire Marshall education kit, given to students from kindergarten through third grade across the district, included red fire helmets, fire-safety guides and coloring posters.

"The goal of the program is to empower everyday kids to become everyday heroes,” spokesman Debora Raymond said.

Started in 1947, The Hartford’s Junior Fire Marshal program has deputized more than 110 million kids. For more information on the program, visit thehartford.com/jfm.

Rivera, aka “Mo” and “The Sandman,” spent 19 seasons with the Yankees, from 1995 to 2013. The closer was a 13-time All-Star and won five World Series with the team.