Get Out Alive: Escaping a house fire

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If your house were to catch fire how would you get out alive?

Abigail Quinley, 6, said her family has an escape plan.

“When fire comes in your house, you have to feel the door,” she said.

“Kitchen fires are the No. 1 place for home fires. A lot of time that’s unattended cooking where you started a pot on the stove and then you go to take a phone call,” Gastonia Fire Department's Jim Landis explained.

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Imagine you are asleep with your door closed at night. When you hear the smoke alarm go off, you get up and go to the bedroom door…

If your bedroom is a normal temperature The Gastonia Fire Department said to crawl out of the room so you’re below the smoke as much as possible.  

“As soon as you stand up in all of that excitement, you breathe in all that smoke and the next thing you know, you’re on the ground,” fire officials said.

Once you’re outside, fire officials said it’s time to get to a meeting place. For the Quinley family, their mailbox is where they’re deciding to meet if a fire ever comes their way.

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“If you have somebody that comes out the front door, somebody that comes out the back door, all your family members are in distress anyways because their house is on fire and they don’t know where you are.”

Another scenario – let’s say the bedroom is hot. It’s a sign fire is on the other end. In this case, the fire department said to open a window and if you’re on a top floor to call for help. Fire officials said they always check each window on scene.

They said it’s OK to climb out if you’re on ground level.

A phone call to the fire department is important, but it's most important to get to a safe place first.

These all might seem like pretty basic steps for families to take in. But when a fire hits – it’s the basics to keep in mind to get out alive.

“Her knowing that if I’m in my room and she’s in her room and she knows how to get out safely and I know where to account for her, is invaluable as a parent," Abigail's mother Jackie Quinley said.