IMLAY CITY, Mich. – After three children were killed and four other people were critically injured Tuesday in an Imlay City mobile home fire, experts are offering critical safety tips.
The deadly fire was a reality check for other residents in the mobile home park, such as Joseph Ward, who plans to start cleaning out the clutter in his home.
"I've got so much stuff in there," Ward said.
Other neighbors are talking to their children.
"If something happens, just go outside if they have a chance," resident Fabialo Zepeda said.
Experts said the key is to have a plan. Fire leaders said families who prepare for fires have much better odds of surviving them.
First and foremost, residents should have a meeting place so they'll know quickly if anyone is trapped in the fire.
It's also important to know how to get out of a home. If someone is in bed, they should roll out, crawl to the doorway and feel the door to make sure it's not hot. That's the best way to check if there's fire on the other side.
If the door is hot, don't open it. Experts said to go out the window instead. If possible homeowners should purchase fire ladders to help the escape.
Then, there are preventative measures to take, such as checking smoke detector batteries once a month and teaching children to listen for smoke detectors.
Officials said these preparations might not have made a difference Tuesday in Imlay City, but it could help fire victims in the future.