How to keep your family safe during a house fire - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

How to keep your family safe during a house fire

Source: WMC Source: WMC
Source: WMC Source: WMC
Source: WMC Source: WMC
Source: WMC Source: WMC
Source: WMC Source: WMC
MADISON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Discussing a fire escape plan could have potentially saved those lives in Memphis. Fire officials say the deaths could have been prevented if the family had taken certain precautions.

Monday early morning, at 1:30 a.m., nine people died in what's being called one of the deadliest fires since the 1920's in Memphis. Six of the victims were children.

"I can't even explain it," said Ernest Jett, the children's grandfather. "The way I feel losing all of my babies like that." 

Investigators say a malfunctioned power cord connected to an AC unit caused the deadly fire. 

"You've got less than 3 minutes to get out of your house. Less than three minutes," said Lisa Garforth, Madison Fire Department Community Educator. "You have got to practice your escape plans."

Garforth stresses the importance of fire safety in the community. "Is there a window that's blocked? Is there a back door that's blocked; book case, couch, those sort of thing. You don't want to block any exits," explained Garforth.

She says in the house fire in Memphis only 25 percent of the house was burned, so the deaths were most likely caused by smoke inhalation.

"If you smell smoke and you can't get out, get everyone in a room and get blankets, towels, sheets, pillows from the bed, to lay along the bottom of the door to keep smoke from coming into the house," said Garforth.

Another tip, check your smoke alarm every month. Make sure you replace them every ten years. It could be the one defense of getting everyone out.

"You want one inside and outside every bedroom. So you've got a hallway with four bedrooms that's a lot. Minimum 2 and 1 in each bedroom," said Garforth.

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