What you should do before firefighters arrive - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

What you should do before firefighters arrive

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The fire at Colonial Grand apartments in Wilmington caused an estimated $200,000 in damage. The fire at Colonial Grand apartments in Wilmington caused an estimated $200,000 in damage.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Firefighters responded to an apartment fire that displaced more than a dozen people in a little more than six minutes late Tuesday night.

Before first responders arrive on scene, there are some step that you should and should avoid doing to ensure everyone's safety, according to Fire Safety Educator Meg Langston.

She said alerting neighbors who could be affected by the flames should be the first thing you do after calling 911. Just do not risk your own safety to do it.

"If you're feeling the heat, we want you to move away," said Langston.

A fire extinguisher will contain flames no bigger than a small trash can, according to Langston. She said extinguishers are recommended for every home, but using them on large fires will only put you in danger.

"You don't know where the winds going to blow and blow something off that building that's on fire," she said. "We would never recommend you get that close with that fire extinguisher."

Langston said most injuries could be prevented because they happen when people re-enter a burning building or get too close to the fire.

"They had warning and they made it out without a scratch on them but they go back for some reason," said Langston. "Whether it's to use that fire extinguisher or to try to look for somebody else and that's when they get injured."

Searching for someone who may not be inside can be prevented by making a plan, according to Langston. She said families or roommates should have a set location to meet if an emergency ever happens.

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