So far this year, two Oak Ridge homes have been destroyed by fires after residents tried to fight the flames themselves and calls to 911 were delayed by five minutes or more, Oak Ridge Fire Chief Darryl Kerley said in an e-mail to the media Monday.
Now, Kerley is urging residents to call 911 immediately if they see smoke or fire. “We’re trying to notify the public to please, please call us,” he said.
Kerley said most rooms in a burning home will reach dangerously high temperatures of 1,150 degrees Fahrenheit—known as “flashover” conditions—in less than eight minutes.
“Once flashover occurs, the fire will begin to spread rapidly throughout the structure,” he said. “The fire department would like to arrive on the scene, if possible, before the eight-minute mark.”