Fires can start within the blink of an eye.
Lyle Daniel, Assistant Chief of Support for the San Angelo Fire Department said, "The fire progresses pretty quickly. In about 20 minutes it will progress from a small fire to a fully engulfed house."
We've seen a few fires recently and more could pop up at any time. That's why we talked with Kevin Lassiter and Lyle Daniel of the Fire Department to find out some of the fire dangers that residents don't think about during the summer.
Kevin Lassiter, Assistant Chief of Operations for the San Angelo Fire Department, said, "You have people grilling, they need to be careful with propane, charcoal, lighters, that type of stuff. Pay attention to where they're making the fires."
Daniel said, ""The fuels close to hot water heaters or furnaces or anything where they have an ignition source. Kids sometimes don't think about that and they may take the gas into the garage or something if they're mowing the yard."
Lassiter added, "The fire in Christoval was one of those examples. You get something flammable and it gets exposed to a spark or a flame, you'll likely have a fire. With this type of weather the heat tends to vaporize easier, the combustibles vaporize easier and you're going to have a flammable mixture."
We've seen almost 20 inches of rain this year and some home owners might be letting their grass grow longer than they typically do because of it. Lassiter said it's a good idea to keep your grass cut to prevent future fires.
"As we progress into the summer and we lose some of the rain, stuff is going to start drying out and we've had a lot of growth so that's going to create a dangerous condition so people need to be aware of that."
Some residents, once they see smoke and flashing lights, like to flee to the scene to find out what has happened. Both Lassiter and Daniel said that could affect the firefighter's job to put out the flames.
Daniel said, "We may be calling in additional trucks or additional personnel and if we've got a lot of people who have parked along the road or who are driving by in the way, sometimes it won't allow our equipment to get in where we need or maybe we need to lay a hose line out to a hydrant. We can't get the trucks through because there are people in the way."
"Most of this is natural curiosity. I mean people are going to be drawn to the noise, the lights and sirens to see what's going on so it's not unexpected and I think for the most part people are cooperative. We ask them to move back and it's a safety issue. We don't want anybody else to get hurt."
That's not to mention the hazards you may or may not see when you're at the scene. The good news is you can still do your part by calling 911 to report a fire instead of following a trail of smoke. So be safe this summer and keep these tips in mind to protect you and your loved ones. If you would like more fire prevention safety tips, you can phone the San Angelo Fire Department at 657-4358. As an additional source, you can log onto the American Red Cross website at www.redcross.org.