LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Three adults and seven children escaped when their home caught fire Friday morning.
The fire was reported around 5:50 a.m. in the 1300 block of Earl Avenue. When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke and fire coming from the home. Louisville Fire and Rescue Maj. Bobby Cooper said it took 25 firefighters 20 minutes to get the fire under control.
Cooper said a lit candle near combustibles in a bedroom started the fire.
A family member said the fire started in an area where several children were sleeping at one corner of the house. That family member said the kids were taken to the doctor, but were not injured.
Louisville Fire is crediting working smoke detectors as a reason the family got out safely.
Over the years, fire officials say faster responses have become more important.
“Thirty years ago, you had about 15 minutes to exit a structure," Cooper said. “Nowadays you have about three minutes."
Materials inside homes in 2020 don’t exactly resemble those inside homes in 1990. Firefighting is a science, and the numbers show these changes have played a role in faster-burning homes.
“The busiest months for structure fires are December, January and February,” Cooper said. "So here we are, we’re in February now, getting toward the tail end, but clearly we have some cold weather that has moved in.”
Firefighting is also preventative. For example, in cold weather, if you plan on using a space heater, fire officials suggest keeping anything that can catch on fire three feet away from it at all times.
Cooper also stressed the importance of properly-functioning smoke detectors.
"What this morning’s incident does is it illustrates the importance of smoke detectors where a family of 10, including seven children, were notified early enough by a working smoke detector to exit the structure, to call 911, so that we could respond in an adequate amount of time,” Cooper said.
Louisville Fire also advises taking precautions when using candles, similar to those using a space heater. Try keeping combustible materials a few feet away from it, and make sure it has a sturdy base.