Smoke from a house fire can kill you quickly

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- In a fire, the cause of death is often smoke inhalation. In the last 7 days, 7 people have died in fires in Michiana and at least one of those was due to smoke inhalation. A local fire marshal says it can happen quickly.

It's true that where there is smoke, there is fire-and often, it's the thick toxic smoke from the fire that can be fatal.


"You can get dizzy, lightheaded. You can get disoriented real quick," said George Schafer, Mishawaka Fire Marshal.


Schafer says most fires spread so quickly you have less than 60 seconds to get out.


"If you're not getting out of your house within 30 seconds, you're behind the 8 ball," said Schafer.


Because we have a lot of synthetic products in our homes, like couches and furniture, house fires today get hot and spread fast, making it tough to escape.


"We used to say the rule of thumb is a fire can double in size every 30 seconds. Now they're saying the fire actually increases eight times every minute in size and volume," said Schafer.


Plastic products make smoke more deadly.


"They give off really toxic, highly toxic chemicals that can put you into a real quick deep sleep and eventually kill you," said Schafer.


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