Jeff Block sat at a table outside Koffee? on Audubon Street, New Haven, at first quietly reminiscing about how he used to wait there for his daughter, Eva, to finish her dance practice with the New Haven Ballet. But then he began to talk with great passion on the need to save lives through fire safety measures and educating the public about such procedures. On Jan. 21, 2012, his daughter\u2019s off-campus rental house near Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., caught fire in the middle of the night. She and two of her housemates died of smoke inhalation. For a year or two afterward, Block said, \u201cI was sort of lost. I probably had a nervous breakdown in the middle of that. I didn\u2019t want to hear anybody or do anything. \u201cI had a job, I kept working, I had relationships. But something was missing. The passion in my life was lost. And I\u2019m very passionate about most things. I couldn\u2019t find that.\u201d But then Block started working with state legislators on passing and enacting into law a bill requiring that all people renting residential properties must be notified through their leases on whether there is a fire sprinkler system \u2014 and, if so, when it was last inspected and maintained. (It does not mandate that those systems be in place.) The privately owned house where Eva Block was living as a senior at Marist College did not have a sprinkler system. Connecticut\u2019s law, similar to one enacted in New York state because of that triple tragedy in Poughkeepsie, took effect Oct. 1, 2015. Last June, the same month the Connecticut law was passed, Block founded One Innocent Life, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to raise awareness among college students and their parents about the need for fire safety. If you go to the group\u2019s website, www.oneinnocentlife.org, you will see a statement from Block that as a result of the fire, \u201cthree innocent lives were lost: my daughter, Eva, and her friends, Kevin (Johnson) and Kerry (Fitzsimons).\u201d All three of them were just 21 years old. \u201cMy daughter died because she didn\u2019t have a plan for what to do in the event of a fire,\u201d Block wrote. \u201cFrom the grief and from talking with survivors of the same incident, we came up with a shared goal: together, we will make sure that nobody else is to be in this situation without a plan, that no more innocent lives are lost to fires.\u201d Block and his former wife, Barbara Block, who together raised their three kids in Woodbridge, have chosen slightly different but related strategies to promote fire prevention. (They got divorced before the fire.) Barbara Block has participated in the annual Fire Safety and Prevention Day at the Woodbridge Fire Department. This is a fundraiser held in Eva\u2019s honor. When I called Barbara Block to ask her about One Innocent Life, she said, \u201cI think what Jeff is doing is a wonderful thing. I support it completely. If we can just save one life, we can make a difference. It\u2019s a horrible tragedy we\u2019ve been through; I hope no one has to endure what we suffered.\u201d She added, \u201cWe need to reach other young adults, make them aware and understand. And we have to let their parents know how important it is that when their kids go off to school, they\u2019re in a safe environment.\u201d Jeff Block is now gearing up for One Innocent Life\u2019s inaugural \u201cBeat the Heat 5K (3.1 miles) Run\/Walk\u201d to be held June 18. The location is Woodbridge Town Center and day-of registration begins at 7 a.m. Block said the run\/walk will start at about 8:30 a.m. It costs $25 to run it, $20 to walk it. Meanwhile, Block continues to speak at meetings of fire departments and fire safety associations. \u201cIt\u2019s an emotional roller-coaster, constantly talking about it,\u201d he told me. \u201cI tell my story over and over again. I become emotional. But that\u2019s what makes it real to people.\u201d During our conversation, Block managed to keep his emotions in check, even when I asked him what Eva was like. \u201cShe was still dancing at Marist but she went there for fashion design. She had some jewelry pieces that went into production. She had a business plan with her sister, Hannah, for clothing design.\u201d What father doesn\u2019t love talking about his daughter? He continued: \u201cShe was a little bit of everything, what would be called \u2018a Renaissance woman.\u2019 She was a little bit of a hippie. As a teenager, she was shy and aloof. But at college, she started to blossom, using that freedom to explore who she was. She was just a loving, caring person.\u201d Block said the cause of the fire was never precisely determined, although it was traced to something that had been smoldering. \u201cIt could have been electrical. It could have been a smoldering cigarette.\u201d He said there were smoke detectors in the house but it\u2019s not known how long after the smoldering began that they went off. Four other young people in the house escaped with minor injuries. Block said it has been \u201ccathartic\u201d for him to work on behalf of One Innocent Life. \u201cSomething has to be done so it doesn\u2019t happen to somebody else,\u201d he told me. \u201cMy goal is to save a life and never know about it.\u201d What do you do, he asked, if you\u2019re in a building where a fire breaks out? \u201cHow do you react? What\u2019s your plan? You should have a plan beforehand and generally we don\u2019t. We don\u2019t think it\u2019s going to happen to us.\u201d Block said, \u201cWhen I walk into a building, I think: \u2018How do I get out of here? What\u2019s the second way out?\u2019 Because everybody else will choose the first way.\u201d Block noted young adults are even worse than older generations when it comes to safety awareness and having a plan of escape. \u201cStudents need to take responsibility. They have open candles and then they get inebriated and knock the candles over. Then they say: \u2018How do I get out of here?\u2019\u201d But Block also blames landlords for poor safety oversight. \u201cSome of them \u2018rack and stack.\u2019 They\u2019ll make an apartment out of anything.\u201d Moving forward, Block said, \u201cI see this as a national organization in five-seven years. And I want this to live on after I\u2019m gone. I\u2019m building a ship that someone else can drive later.\u201d He noted that when he helped get the new fire safety law passed and formed his organization, he got his old passion back. \u201cIt lit my fire again.\u201d When I mentioned that this might seem an unfortunate turn of phrase, he replied, \u201cYeah! I tell people,\u2019I\u2019m running around with my hair on fire\u2019 and they ask, \u2018Is that a good analogy?\u2019 But it is. I\u2019m running around with my hands in the air.\u201d For information on the 5K (3.1 miles) run\/walk,\u201d visit https:\/\/runsignup.com\/Race\/CT\/Woodbridge\/BeatTheHeat5kRunWalk Contact Randall Beach at email@example.com or 203-680-9345.