Help Me Hank shares life-saving information amid rash of deadly house fires in Michigan

Hank Winchester talks fire safety with firefighters

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – After fast-moving house fires took the lives of five children and injured many others recently in Michigan, Help Me Hank is meeting with Troy firefighters and children to share life-saving information.

Two children were killed in a Grosse Pointe house fire. Three others were killed in Lansing. Five people were rushed to the hospital in Detroit after a mattress caught fire.

Officials said so far this year, 86 people have died in Michigan house fires. Elderly people and children are the most likely victims to become trapped, according to authorities.

Hank Winchester and a group of children spoke with Troy and Sterling Heights firefighters inside a Sterling Heights home to help learn important tips about fire safety.

Local 4 learned all the children in attendance had discussed fire evacuation plans with their parents, but none of them had practiced executing those plans.

While they had an understanding of what to do, they had many questions because the plans have never been put into action.

Firefighters said these are the four most important tips when talking to children about fire safety:

  1. They should sleep with doors closed.
  2. They need to know how to open their windows, unlock their screens and get out, if needed.
  3. If they’re trapped, teach them to throw toys out the window. It will alert people on the ground that someone is in the room.
  4. They should know the plan and practice it. Make sure a safe meeting location is agreed upon.

Click here to visit the complete fire safety guide, which includes information about fire escape plans and free smoke detector programs.

The Detroit Fire Department can provide smoke detectors to residents -- just call 313-596-2959. There is a bit of a backlog due to the popularity of the program, but they are working through it, firefighters said.

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