Virginia Beach, Virginia — Two nights ago, four fire trucks, 3 police cars, and two ambulances were called to a house fire in the Woodstock neighborhood. The home was that of an elderly couple, who were able to escape with only minor injuries. The firefighters were able to put out the fire in about 30 minutes, but the house was damaged beyond repair. Investigators are looking into the possibility of this being arson, but the elderly couple believes the cause to be a burning candle knocked over by one of their cats. The fire was contained and did not spread to other residents` houses, but the elderly couple will have to find a new residence.
This fire was the second one this week in Virginia Beach. Fires have never really been a big issue in Virginia Beach, but this city does see its fair share of small house fires. The number one cause of house fires is preventable accidents. Leaving the stove or oven on, leaving a burning candle unattended, dropping a lit cigarette inside, or even children playing with fire.
Everyone learns fire safety in elementary school, but after that, everyone is left to their own advices. Whether it is a fire safety refresher course in middle school or high school, or just some public service announcements to remind our citizens of the dangers of fire, something needs to be done to help curb preventable fires. In reality, if people take the necessary precautions we should not have any preventable fires. It is understandable that some citizens may accidentally or unintentionally start a fire, but the incidence rate is far too high for as advanced and intelligent our society as become.
One key factor that allowed the elderly couple`s house to almost completely burn down was that they did not have a fire extinguisher in their home. It should a mandated law that every home be required to have a fire extinguisher so that small fires can be put out before they cause any real damage. There are already laws in place across the country mandating that all businesses have fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and fire extinguishers all in plain view, so why not apply these same laws to people`s homes as well. This fire is a grim reminder of the reality and dangers of preventable fires. Hopefully people will learn from the mistakes of these homeowners and strive to stop all preventable fires from occurring.