OTTUMWA, Iowa — This weekend KTVO brought you a story about a fatal house fire in Oskaloosa.
David C. Fogle lost his life because he was trapped in the basement. The fire is still under investigation, but we wanted to find out how to keep your kids safe in homes with basements.
KTVO spoke with Ottumwa Firefighter William Munley Monday afternoon to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
First, he told KTVO that children should not be living in the basement or spending much time there alone.
He then said that smoke detectors are very important when it comes to living in the basement. That way, there’s and early detection so everyone can get out the house, and firefighters can arrive quickly and respond.
Munley told KTVO aside from smoke detectors, egress windows are the way to go.
“Best thing that we really want you to have is two ways out of your house. Egress windows are very important if you’re living in a basement, or if you spend a lot of time in the basement. Make sure you have a way out if the staircase is blocked. We don’t want someone trapped in the basement, and wouldn’t be able to get them out in case of a fire or be able to come in and get them from an egress window," Munley said.
Munley said that the use of space heaters or overloading the circuits in homes, especially older homes, are what usually cause fires. He also recommended to have a sit down with your family to make sure everyone knows the escape routes in case of an emergency.