We do stories on house fires all the time and usually what you see is whatever is left, the mangled and charred mess.
Every once in a while, you'll see the battle between man and fire. But what you never see is how the fire starts; what happens inside your home.
Here are 5 scenarios: the dropped cigarette, self combustible rags, a simple candle, the gas can in the garage or utility room and cooking.
This is the fire video you never see, and it's a warning you won't be able to forget. So, with about a dozen cameras and a house set for demolition, the fire department showed how the fire starts and spreads.
SCENARIO 1: THE CIGARETTE
97 people in the US died due to smoking related fires last year. Most simply fell asleep while smoking. The department used so-called fire safe cigarettes. They smoldered at first, but then caught the sheets, pillows on fire. Smoke quickly fills the room and the fire spreads quickly.
SCENARIO 2: RAGS USED IN HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS
In the garage, firefighters soaked rags with linseed oil, which can be found in many paints and sealers. The honey-do list left-overs are an afterthought. But simply throwing them in a bucket or box to dry out can be deadly. The rags generate heat as they dry out, watch the spontaneous combustion.
SCENARIO 3: A CANDLE
The firefighters simulated what happened in Brian Miller's house. A houseguest left a candle unattended. It slid off the table and onto the floor setting part of the carpet and wall on fire. The smoke detector alerted Miller and he was able to keep the fire from spreading. The firefighters allowed the fire to take it's natural course. Within minutes the room is on fire.
SCENARIO 4: THE GASOLINE CAN
You might leave the gas can in the garage. If you have no garage, you might leave it in a utility room. Often, the can is just around the corner from a furnace or hot water heater. Both have pilot lights. The firefighters simulated what can happen if just a quart of the liquid leaks out--from a can leak or if a kid/pet tipped over the can. For many, this is a mop up type situation. But gasoline vapor creeps toward the water heater. What happens next is something most of us have never seen. The way the fire moves on the floor, is creepy.
SCENARIO 5: COOKING
Most house fires in our area happen in the kitchen. Firefighters show what happens when you pour water on a pan with burning grease. When water hits burning oil, it bursts into thousands of droplets of burning steam. Seeing how the grease explodes is almost unreal.
Here is the lesson in all of these scenarios. While they can all be deadly, they are all preventable. The United States Fire Administration for Citizens has all kinds of tips and ideas to keep your family safe.