Fire Marshal Visits Neighborhood After Fire

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin
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May 19, 2005

The man who was burned in a mobile home fire last night has been released from the hospital. Albemarle County investigators say the fire started in the kitchen. The blaze killed the man's dog and destroyed his home.

The Fire Marshal for Albemarle County saw last night's devastation in a trailer as a perfect opportunity to inform the man's neighbors about fire prevention.

"You never go back in," said Janet McLaughlin, a resident of the Cedar Hill Mobile Home Estates.

Most people have heard tips on what to do when there's a fire in their home, but sometimes what seems as common sense doesn't always happen.

On May 19th, a mobile home in Albemarle County went up in flames. The owner of the trailer was outside, but his dog was inside. He wanted to go back in to get it, but did not following the suggestion of neighbors.

Bob Lowry, the fire marshal for Albemarle County, visited neighbors of the Sequoia Street fire to raise awareness, and prevent this from happening again because small fires could turn into something much bigger.

"It could happen very fast. You'd be surprised at how fast it could happen," said Fire Marshal Bob Lowry, of Albemarle County.

The fire marshal says the best way to prevent a fire from becoming fully developed is to have a working smoke detector.

"They really do work. They give you extra time to get out if you're asleep. It takes maybe two minutes to have a fire get to the point to where smoke is all the way down to the floor," added Lowry.

Early warning is the key, and some other tips are:

- Don't let kids play around the stove while cooking
- Never leave food cooking unattended
- Do not get too relaxed, causing you to fall asleep while cooking

The fire marshal also says, have an escape route planned. McLaughlin agrees, and her family knows what to do.

"Instead of them trying to meet in between coming out of the door, just kick the windows out with whatever and then jump out of the window," explained McLaughlin.

It's best to change the batteries of any smoke detector when the time changes, during 'Spring Forward' and 'Fall Back.'

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