A Southwest Philadelphia fire that killed four children over the weekend should serve as a warning for those who don’t a fire safety plan for their home, city fire prevention officials said.
Although the homes destroyed early Saturday apparently had smoke detectors, residents may have struggled to find a way out since the blaze is thought to have started on a porch, which could have blocked the primary escape route from the houses, officials said.
Everyone should have multiple ways to exit a home in the event of fire, said Peter Crespo, executive chief of the Philadelphia Fire Department.
“Make a plan, practice a home escape plan,” he urged Monday as the investigation into the fatal fire continues. “Agree on a common meeting place … just have accountability and make sure everyone gets out safely.
“A lot of people need to resist re-entering. Don’t go back inside your residence,” Crespo said. “Make sure that everyone who gets out stays out, and make sure there are two ways out as well.”
Crespo said the plan for a second exit might incorporate a back roof, a porch roof or even a folding escape ladder which can be purchased at hardware stores.