The apartment was on fire and the smoke was already thick. When St. Paul firefighters arrived they found the couple that lived there was still inside ... trying to disconnect their flat-screen TV in hopes of rescuing it from the flames.
The Pioneer Press reports firefighters ordered the pair to leave the television behind and get to safety. Fire Marshall Steve Zaccard tells the newspaper the two were treated for smoke inhalation at Regions Hospital.
"They were doing the wrong thing," Zaccard told the Pioneer Press. "If you can't fight the fire, get out and call the fire department. Don't grab your belongings. ... They can be replaced. Your life can't be."
The Star Tribune reports the residents are in their 40s and live in a basement apartment of a six-unit building near Lexington Parkway and University Ave.
Zaccard told the Star Tribune the fire was attributed to careless smoking and the flames were quickly doused. He also reiterated the need for residents of a burning home to save themselves and not worry about possessions. "There’s no reason to risk your life like that. Insurance can replace things, if you have it,” he told the paper.
So what should you do when there's a fire in your home?
Well, first and foremost get out.
The Kids Health website offers the reminder that you should not open a door during a fire if smoke is coming from under it. If the door or the door knob feel hot, find a different way out. That's why it's important to have more than one escape route in mind.
The American Red Cross says only 26 percent of families have actually developed an escape plan and rehearsed it. The number of home fires the Red Cross responds to has been rising since 2000. The group says every two-and-a-half hours someone is killed in a home fire in the U.S.
In addition to an escape plan, the Red Cross says a working smoke alarm is your best protection from fire.