Alarming stats about smoke detectors - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Alarming stats about smoke detectors

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BECKELY -

There's increasing concern about the growing number of deadly fires in the mountain state. As people in Calhoun County are reacting to a devastating fire there, emergency service officials are reminding everyone to check their smoke alarms.

59 News is working for you to find out how a smoke alarm could save your life.

From Summers County to Raleigh County, it can happen anywhere.  Luckily, the fires that broke out in our area over the past month have not been fatal.

But on Thursday one family in Calhoun County wasn't that fortunate. Our crews caught up with a Captain at the Beckley Fire Department who has a strong message about all these house fires.  He said folks who have smoke detectors in their homes cuts their changes in half of dying in a blaze.

"The smoke will really numb your sense and that's why it is so important to have a smoke detector because it does, smoke does just numb your sense and orientation," Gary Raines, Captain at the Beckley Fire Department.

Three children and one Calhoun County adult perished in the house fire on Thursday.  59 News has no been able to confirm if the home was equipped with a working smoke alarm, but experts say, if there was a smoke alarm, it could have saved a life.

"It is always going to happen to the other guy, that's just human nature, but sometimes you are that other guy," Captain Raines said. He explained most people will keep their smoke alarm in a drawer, without a battery or simply just not in operation because they do not think it could happen to them.  But he said the chance it could happen is real and a smoke alarm could help save your family.

What makes house fires so dangerous?  It is not the flames instead it's the smoke.  Raines said a person can die in less than two minutes from smoke inhalation. So to escape a fire with your life, you need to move fast and without the shrinking sound of a smoke alarm, by the time firefighters show up, it may be too late.