GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Two big fires at two apartment complexes destroy people’s lives this past weekend, but no one died.
One happened in Starkville and the other in Vernon, Alabama.
It was a close call for residents, but it’s why firefighters say you should have an escape plan.
You might think living in an apartment would mean you need a different escape plan than a house, but that’s not necessarily true.
Firemen say all fires have similarities and both places have similar escape routes.
Most apartment complexes have one common stairwell through the middle of the building with units on each side.
Some residents wonder how they would escape if the stairs were ever cut off by fire or falling debris.
“I think until it happens to you, maybe you don’t even, you know, think about it at all,” says Laura Emelio.
Emelio has been living on the second floor of Franklin Apartments in Columbus, for five months.
It’s the first time she’s lived on a top floor and now, she also has to worry about Luna.
“This is the only way out, so you know, if the fire was coming up through the stairs, I would have to jump out through the window or something, because you know, this is the only exit.”
Starkville Fire Marshal Mark McCurdy says whether you live in an apartment or a home, there’s always two ways out to escape a fire.
“Obviously, your first way out is going to be through your main entrance, whatever that is, your front door if you will, and typically your second way out is a window, a bedroom window, or something of that nature.”
McCurdy says once you get to a window, try to let someone know where you are.
“Try to get a fireman’s attention, you know, maybe hang a sheet out of the window, throw something, even throw something out of the window just to get somebody’s attention, so if there’s time, then they can put up a ladder or some sorts like that, and climb up and get you down safely.”
McCurdy tells residents if there’s no time, they need to jump and try to land on anything that could soften the fall.
“I have heard to try and roll into it. That is something I have heard about, you know, when you are jumping, to try and not catch it all on your feet, so I guess that’s what I would do,” says Emelio.
McCurdy suggests to buy a throw over fire escape ladder if you live on a second story or higher.