WESTFIELD, Ind.—A house fire Saturday evening had the potential to turn ugly and the Westfield Fire Department strongly urges residents to “get out and stay out” if their home is on fire. At about eight Saturday evening, a woman noticed her home at 217 Jersey Street was on fire, rushed to her neighbors, and called 911. It was during this time a 911 dispatcher urged the woman to make sure everyone was out of the home and to stay out. Despite pleas from the dispatcher and the woman, her husband continued reentering the home.
The fire department responded quickly and arrived within just 3 minutes to find heavy smoke billowing from the roof. Firefighters immediately jumped into action and began fighting the blaze. Simultaneously, a second crew searched the home for victims. Within ten minutes, search crews had cleared the entire building—everyone had made it out of the home safe, including their pets.
“Get out of your house and stay out—it may be the single most important thing you can do to save lives if your home is on fire,” said Fire Chief Todd Burtron. “I just cannot stress this enough. We can replace a home; we can never replace a family.”
The lack of oxygen during a fire makes reentering the home deadly. Within just 40 seconds and extremely low levels of oxygen, your body will go into a coma. And even with higher levels of oxygen, your judgment is impaired enough that you may not be able to find your way back out of your home.
The home is estimated to have over $30,000 of damage and investigators say the fire began in the attic due to an electrical wire failure.