STREETSBORO, Ohio (WJW) – Two massive fires just days apart in Streetsboro have firefighters warning people about the increase in fires this time of year. They say there is a lot you can do to prevent something like this from happening to you.
Around 1:45 a.m. Thursday, the Streetsboro Fire Department responded to a home on Gaynelle Avenue. The fire was so intense crews were pushed back as the house collapsed. They were not able to reach the 57-year-old man who lived there in time.
Then at 6:15 a.m. Saturday, morning crews were called out to a home on Stewart Avenue. Four adults and two children were able to escape a fire that was started by an unattended candle. Firefighters are now reminding people to always blow out candles.
“While you’re in the room with it, it should be in a protective glass enclosure so it can’t melt down and cause another fire,” said Streetsboro Fire Captain Kevin Grimm. “It can’t be tipped over.”
Firefighters also advise that you don’t use space heaters with kerosene and if you are using electric space heaters to make sure you don’t leave them unattended.
They also say you should keep a rescue ladder on the second floor of your house. You should also close your doors when you go to bed at night which will help keep smoke and flames out.
Most importantly, make sure you have working smoke detectors.
“We encourage working smoke detectors on every level of their home and in every bedroom,” said Captain Grimm. “Preferably if they’re connected all together.”
Fire officials say people tend to be out of sorts or in shock when their house goes up in flames. They want you to remember that if this happens to you and you do get outside, don’t go back in for any reason.
“If there is something that you feel is irreplaceable let us know,” said Streetsboro Mayor Glenn Broska. “We’ve seen firefighters go back in and retrieve stuff for people after the fire is over or after the fire is out.”
Mayor Broska is a retired firefighter. He says the first thing crews will ask you on scene is if everyone is out of the house.
“Life safety is priority and that’s the first question they’ll ask,” Mayor Broska said. “If they tell us no, it’s going to change the way we fight the fire. We’re going to try and rescue that person before we put that fire out.”
While we all hope something like this will never happen, it’s important to have a plan just in case.
“Practice your evacuation and practice it with the kids,” said Captain Grimm. “We practice with the students at school all the time so do the same thing at your house. When something happens you don’t have to tell your children what to do, they already know and they can all get out safely even if you can’t get to them.”
If you need help getting a plan together on how to best survive a fire at your home most fire departments will come over and help you free of charge. You can also have them come over to check your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.