Firefighters say closing doors could save a life in a house fire

Firefighters say closing doors could save a life in a house fire

Following news that an open door helped a deadly apartment fire spread in New York, local fire officials are reminding the Inland Northwest that closing doors can help save lives.

The fire broke out at an apartment complex in the Bronx Thursday. It claimed the lives of 12 people.

On the contrary, firefighters showed KXLY 4 News a home in Spokane Valley that suffered less damage because doors were closed. The Spokane Valley Fire Department said an off-duty firefighter spotted the flames in the 4200 block of Sunderland Rd., and ran inside hte home.

“While he’s in the house, he starts shutting doors. The reason why he’s shutting those doors is, again, as a firefighter, he knows those open doors are going to spread fire faster,” said Spokane Valley firefighter Rick Freier.

After a fire in the Bronx killed a dozen people, firefighters wanted to make sure no one here has to suffer that same grief. So, they remind you that closing a door can save a life.

“When you put it in a box, and you shut that door, it keeps it from moving as fast as it would if the door was open. And what that’s going to do is keep the other space in the house viable. People can survive in those things,” Freier said.

Firefighters say it’s important that you and your kids sleep with your doors shut. If you do find yourself trapped in a house that’s on fire, get in a room and close the door.

“Our average response time, we shoot for five minutes. And if you’re in a bedroom, you’re calling 911, and that door’s hot, there’s a good chance, we’re going to get there and we’re going to be able to get you, as long as you keep that door shut,” said Freier.

It’s also important to make sure you have working smoke detectors. The Spokane Valley Fire Department says you should check your smoke detectors once a month. That’s also a good time to go over your fire escape plane with your children.