Fire a reminder to have emergency plan in place

Published 8:54 pm Friday, June 3, 2016

In Friday’s edition of the Times-Journal, we provided an update on the Johnson family, which had been displaced by a house fire since February.

Although all the repair work isn’t quite finished, the Johnson family has moved back home after living in a hotel room for the last four months. During that night in February, 8-year-old Tamyah Johnson spotted the fire and awoke her mother in the middle of the night.

Tamyah’s actions likely saved her family’s life that night. Tamyah’s mother Tiffany has rightfully told that story to anyone who would listen and has even written a book titled “The Young Hero,” detailing her daughter’s brave actions from that night.

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Part of the reason for writing the book was so that Tamyah will have it to look back on as she grows older.

We’re sure she’s also hoping it’ll teach others about fire safety, including teaching young children the dangers of fire and what to do if they spot one.

The fire in the Johnson house was caused by a heater left near a couch. The living room caught on fire and the entire home ended up with smoke damage. It could’ve happened to anyone.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends having your furnace and chimney cleaned every year. It also says on its website to keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.

The association also recommends turning off space heaters when you go to bed and never using an oven to heat your home.

Of course, even a lot of preparation can sometimes go wrong. The best thing to do is to practice for a fire, just in case.

The NFPA recommends that families draw up an escape plan and know where to meet outside in case of a fire.  The association said to plan two ways out of every room, if that’s possible. Once the whole family knows the drill, hit the button on the smoke alarm and run through an actual fire drill.

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to fires.