Center Point fire officials warn against deadly decision after two deaths

Warning about running into burning homes

CENTER POINT, Ala. (WBRC) - The Center Point Fire Department is urging people not to run back into burning homes or businesses. It seems like simple advice but the fire chief said it’s happening and costing people their lives.

“One quick breath and you’re gone,” Center Point Fire Chief Gene Coleman warned.

Chief Coleman urged neighbors to get out of burning structures quickly and stay out.

“Unfortunately we’ve had two fire fatalities in the last six months in our fire district where people have went back into the house,” Coleman said. “To either retrieve an animal or look for something.”

In December, a Grayson Valley woman died while trying to save her pets. A few weeks later, in January, another woman died after an explosion at her Carmel Road home.

Coleman said smoke is the main threat.

“Most of our fire fatalities, people aren’t burned, it runs into the fact that they take in the toxic smoke that has many chemicals in it - cyanide, carbon monoxide, lack of oxygen in a super-heated temperatures. The temperature can get over a 1,000 degrees inside a house,” said Coleman.

It only takes seconds to be overpowered.

Coleman warned that you could put the lives of first responders at risk as well if they have to come in after you.

Coleman also said to make sure your smoke detectors are working properly and keep your door to your bedroom closed when you’re asleep.

Keeping the door closed can slow the spread of flames, decrease temperatures, reduce smoke inhalation, and improve oxygen levels in the room giving you time to get out and stay out.

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