Inside A House Fire: What You Need To Know To Survive

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UPDATED: Thursday March 27, 2014 6:09 PM

10TV teams up with the Columbus Division of Fire for a firsthand look at what would happen if a room in your house caught on fire. How fast would the flames spread? How quickly will the room become smoke filled?  Will there be time to rescue your children?

Chopper 10 flew near the cloud smoke that poured into the sky just minutes after Columbus firefighters torched a 6,500 square-foot house, pulled back, and let it burn. 

Firefighters allowed 10TV to go inside the fire and show firsthand just how little time you have to escape.

A mere 17 seconds after a fire was lit in the corner of one bedroom, smoke detectors went off just from a small amount of smoke in the room.

In a corner bedroom, it takes less than a minute for smoke and heat to overcome a camera lens 10TV placed in the room.

The flames begin to creep along the ceiling as a layer of smoke begins to drop down.

The temperature in the room begins to climb.

Outside the room, it’s a bearable 110 degrees, but inside, it is more than 600 as smoke fills the upstairs hallway leading to the bedroom.

Firefighters say it can take less than a minute for that ceiling of smoke to get down to the floor.  They also have a message for parents who think they have time to run upstairs and save their children: find a different plan.

"People are mistaken.  I can hold my breath long enough to get in there, but if you take in a breath of that super-heated gas and it burns your lungs and it burns your trachea, and then you're unable to breathe and then you're a victim yourself,” says Lt. Chad Bair of the Columbus Division of Fire.

Firefighters say what 10TV can safely show you, doesn't measure up to a real house fire.

"This is maybe a tenth of what it would really be like, so, and it's very dangerous as you can see when we're inside, so the time is of the utmost importance to get out and stay out,” Bair says.

Firefighters hope the demonstration is enough to convince families to come up with an escape plan. 

"Go through it.  Practice it.  Have a drill.  Set off a siren. Pretend it's a fire.  See how long it takes you to get out,” encourages Bair.

First responders will put their lives on the line to rescue trapped victims and will push to save your home, but in reality, it can take just minutes for a small fire to turn into an inferno.

Firefighters say it's not only critical to make sure your children know how to escape a fire, but that your family arranges a safe meeting place outside.  Having a plan will allow you to know quickly if any family member is unaccounted for and a search and rescue team can go after them.

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