Special Report: Getting Out Alive - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Special Report: Getting Out Alive


It's a typical school night.  The kids are asleep and everything is quiet.   But then without warning, the smoke alarms start blaring.  How will the kids react?

That was our goal in our special report called "Getting out Alive".   A Montgomery family agreed to help us out.   "They know what to do in a fire at school," said Andy Bartels.   "Stop drop and roll they learned at school.  But they don't know what to do at home."   So the Bartels started off the new year with a new plan.   They've been working with their two little boys, 5- year old Thomas and 8 year old John Mixon, on a fire safety plan.    "We taught our oldest, if there's smoke in the hallway, get down and help your brother," said mom Andrea Bartels.  "He needs to say come on Thomas lets go!"

"When it does happen (a fire), it happens quickly," said Montgomery fire fighter Lt. Kevin Daniels.   "A little preparation now, can save your life down the road."  

The Bartels practiced their fire safety plan a few times before we came out, but the kids were awake and prepared.  What would happen when we showed up after 10 pm on a school night with our cameras rolling.   The alarms started blaring and the house was still.   But not for long.   20 seconds later John Mixon opens his door and starts called for his brother.  "Come on Thomas," said John Mixon.    And Thomas does pretty well.   He's now out the door following his brother down the hall.   Outside we have one camera on mom.   All she can do is wait, and hope the they do what they practiced.  "Okay, there's John Mixon, wait where's Thomas?"   Thomas got turned around.  John Mixon went to unlock the front door.  Thomas was still real sleepy and turned around and went back to the bathroom.   "I think Thomas is looking for Andy and me," Andrea Bartels said.

Its now been more than a minute and the kids are still inside.  "Come on Thomas," John Mixon yelled again.  This time little Thomas is moving the right way.   He gets to the front door and he and big brother our outside one minute and 24 seconds after the alarm sounded.

"Good job you guys you did great," said mom Andrea.   And they did do well.  They were sound asleep and got out of the house in less than two minutes.   But dad did have one concern.   "Seeing how he was a little disoriented, we will practice a few more times so we know what to do," said dad Andy.   "This was a good learning experience."

For Thomas and John Mixon, it was time to head back to bed.   I asked John Mixon if we should come back and try this every night.  His sleepy little voice said, "uh no," as he cracked a smiled and headed back to bed.  

For the Bartels, it wasn't perfect but they're way ahead of the game when it comes to having their family prepared for "Getting Out Alive."

Copyright 2012 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

Fire Safety Tips


The Montgomery Fire Department came up with some tips on creating a family fire safety plan, and what to do to prevent fires in your home. Fire Safety Plan: 1. Go through the house and find two ways More>>

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