Fire In The House!

On page six I added a press release that was sent to me regarding an escape plan in case of fire.

I recommend that everyone have working smoke and fire alarms, and that they make sure they have more than a couple of ways to escape in case of a fire.

This issue is very personal to me, since I have been in two different situations where there was a fire in the house.

The first time I had to escape a fire, I was eleven years old. It was a cold day in January, and my room was in a basement that had no carpet. We had cement floors. I thought I was smart borrowing my father’s heating pad that he used for his back since he wasn’t at home. I took it downstairs to my room, plugged it in and fell asleep. The problem was that it was one of those old onces that had a switch in the middle of the cord. I was laying on the switch so the heating pad never turned off and it remained plugged in.

Some time later I woke up to my room flooded with smoke. The heating pad was still plugged in and it was smoldering. All that was left of the heating pad was smoldering red coals. I unplugged it right away. I grabbed the cord and pulled it along the cement floor towards the glass sliding door so I could fling it outside. On the way burning piece of it fell off and burned my toe. I managed to put it outside and I ran upstairs to tell my sister what happened. She was concentrating on her homework and blissfully unaware. She ran outside and grabbed the hose and put the water on the heating pad.

I went back to my room to survey the damage. I was very lucky. I had an old, thin polyester blanket hanging near the floor from my bed and it had burn holes in it. To this day I don’t know how I escaped without any burns at all on my body.

When I was in college, I rented a room in an upstairs apartment of a house. There was only one door out. I was watching a movie when flames shot out of an outlet. I ran outside in my socks and I called the fire department.

The fire department came and checked out the house. They made sure that there was no electrical fire going on inside of the walls. Fortunately the fire was isolated and very small. The outlet just seemed to be overloaded by the heater that was running.

When there is a fire in the home, the most important thing to do is to react quickly. If there is imminent danger then get everyone out safely. Call the fire department right away.

Planning for these emergencies can help to avoid a tragedy. Over a week ago, Morris Schott Steam Elementary had a small localized fire. Everyone was evacuated within a minute. Schools have elaborate plans in place to keep students safe and we should have plans for our homes. Please make one! Make an escape plan and practice the plan periodically with your family. Note the escape routes and plan for every scenario. Stay safe, Mattawa!

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