Fire department helpless as house fire rages out of control
This structure fire demonstrates how intense flames can quickly become. In the early morning hours, the fire started in the garage of this large family home near Peterborough, Ontario. Within minutes, flames spread to the rest of the house, quickly consuming everything they touched. Luckily for the family, working smoke detectors woke them up and they all escaped without injury. They wisely left the house with only what they could wrap around them. They knew that there was no time to gather anything in the way of belongings. They did managed to bring the family dog as they fled.
The rapid spread of the fire demonstrates several important points. It took less than five minutes for the fire to fully engulf the house. There would have been no escape if they hadn't been awakened at the onset.
This house fire also demonstrates that delaying escape to gather belongings is a very dangerous thing to do. Once the flames reached the dwelling area of the house, intense heat built rapidly.
Even more dangerous than the heat, toxic smoke fills a house in minutes and makes it impossible to see and to breath. Even before being overcome by the flames, somebody trapped inside would suffocate.
As the fire department work hard to douse the flames with water, they are powerless to stop the advance of the fire. All they can do is slow it down enough to allow them more time to soak the trees and nearby structures so that the fire doesn't spread to other homes.
Until we see an actual fire, or even a video of a fully engulfed home, it would be easy to underestimate how quickly things can turn tragic. As any fire prevention officer will tell us, seconds count, and having an escape plan could make all the difference.