|Updated: 9/29/2011 8:15 am
||Published: 9/28/2011 11:04 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Fire deaths in Arkansas are twice that of the national average and according to firefighters most of the time, it's preventable.
Firefighters take calls 24 hours a day and sometimes, it ends tragically.
The number of people who die in fires in Arkansas is double the national average.
"We respond to every call the same," said Capt. Edwin Woolf with LRFD. "The sooner we get there, the better chance there is of life safety."
But there is a lot of rural space in Arkansas, meaning volunteer fire departments and a slower response to fire calls.
"They have to get to the station, get to the truck and by the time they get there it might just take a few minutes longer and that's the tragedy of that," said Capt. Dennis McCann with LRFD.
Saturday, a fire in Garland County killed a man and a young boy. Even though State Police say they did nothing to start the fire, neighbors say the house didn't have working smoke detectors.
"Even if they have an older home, they need these in their bedrooms because we encourage everyone -- including young children - to sleep with their doors closed to keep the smoke out. It's just that simple," said Capt. McCann.
"Go outside in a meeting place," said Capt. Woolf, "and stay outside."
In Saturday's fire, 13-year-old Tyler French ran back inside for his mother's ring he wears on a necklace. He never made it back out.
"It's just not worth it. things that are of value are people's lives. Nothing else matters," said Capt. McCann.
On average in recent years, Arkansas' death rate was 24 fire deaths per million people. The national average is 12 deaths per million people.
It's also a good idea to change your smoke alarm battery every time you set your clocks for daylight savings time and create a fire escape plan with your family so they know what to do. Don't let your children be afraid of the fire or of firefighters. Children are known to hide in house fires which also leads to a higher number of deaths.