HFD: Man severely burned trying to rescue family from burning home in north Houston

HOUSTON— A man is in the hospital after being burned in a house fire Thursday while trying to rescue his family, according to the Houston Fire Department.

HFD responded to the house fire in the 5000 block of Helmers in north Houston around 12:45 a.m.

According to HFD, three members of a family were inside their home when it caught fire. The 55-year-old man made it safely, but did not see the others. He immediately ran back into the house and discovered they escaped from another side of the home. Once inside the man became trapped and was forced to jump out of a window to avoid the flames.

HFD arrived to find the man lying in the front yard with burns to his face and arms.

He was transported to the hospital in serious condition.

On average, seven people die from home fires every day in the U.S. for these reasons, the National Fire Protection Association asks that every home develop a fire safety plan.

Escape planning tips

The Key to your family’s safety is planning and practicing a home fire escape plan twice a year. Start by identifying two escape routes out of each room, if possible, then make sure that each of those escape routes can be used safely by everyone. Items that block doors and windows in your home could keep you from escaping in the event of a home fire. And that could mean the difference between life and death. So unblock your exits today!

Put your plan to the test

  • Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.
  • Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.
  • Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.
  • It’s important to determine during the drill whether children and others can readily waken to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to awaken, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.
  • If your home has two floors, every family member (including children) must be able to escape from the second floor rooms. Escape ladders can be placed in or near windows to provide an additional escape route. Review the manufacturer’s instructions carefully so you’ll be able to use a safety ladder in an emergency. Practice setting up the ladder from a first floor window to make sure you can do it correctly and quickly. Children should only practice with a grown-up, and only from a first-story window. Store the ladder near the window, in an easily accessible location. You don’t want to have to search for it during a fire.
  • Always choose the escape route that is safest – the one with the least amount of smoke and heat – but be prepared to escape under toxic smoke if necessary. When you do your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to your exit.
  • Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.
  • In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment building. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice “sealing yourself in for safety” as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.