"I got woke up and the next thing I know, came across the street, it was on fire, then ambulances, police, next thing I know after that, they pulled out, they came and took a body out, " James Jackson, neighbor and employee of Annie McCuistian, who was killed in a Sunday morning fire.
"Unfortunately, the majority of injuries and deaths that we see nationwide from fire, is the very young and the very elderly because of limited mobility. Our children often times get scared and hide in cases of fire and of course our elderly a lot of times have limited mobility and they can't self evacuate," says Battalion Chief at Dothan Fire Department Chris Etheredge.
Fire Department officials say having steps in place in an emergency can save time and lives.
"We teach them of course feeling the door before they open it, staying low in smoke, when they leave the bed, go directly to the floor and also been teaching them to have a flashlight beside their bed in case the power goes out so it helps them see in smoke, " says Robert Herring, Life Safety Educator for the Dothan Fire Department.
"Having a plan, knowing where everybody is going to meet is critical so that when we arrive we know that everyone is out and we know that they are accounted for, we can immediately move into putting the fire out rather than that life saving mode, " says Etheredge.
The basics to a fire escape plan...
"You should have two ways out of every room. Obviously going out of the door way of your bedroom is your first option and then exiting the home but what happens is the fire is in that hallway, and you can't open the door. Knowing how to open your window and how to get out of that window. All of the things that we teach our children are just as vital to us as adults and we need to make sure everyone practices that, " says Etheredge.
"Having a working smoke detector in the house is imperative for their safety and their families safety, " says Herring.
Fire Department officials say its important to take fire safety seriously because in an instant, life can change forever.
"I saw her and i was talking to her, laughing and joking with her and she went on in the house...That was the last time I've seen her, " says Jackson.
The Dothan Fire Department will install smoke detectors free of charge for Dothan City residents.
Those interested can call 334 615 FIRE.
Officials still have not released an officials cause to the fire but no foul play is expected.
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