DENVER (CBS4) – Two young boys are lucky to be alive after their southwest Denver home caught fire Tuesday morning.
Firefighters rescued the children who were hiding inside the home on the 350 block of South Eliot Street. A neighbor using their cellphone to take video of the dramatic scene captured the moments Denver firefighters ran out with the small boys.READ MORE: Some Jeffco Parents Petitioning School District To Mandate Masks In Alignment With CDC
“These children were found in really inconspicuous places,” Denver firefighter Melissa Taylor said.
Unfortunately that is a common situation firefighters run into when responding to house fires. Taylor said children are often afraid of the smoke and noise.
“They hide in boxes, under furniture, they wrap themselves in curtains,” Taylor said. “We’ve found children underneath piles of laundry in closets. Just really inconspicuous places where children go where they feel they’ll be safe.”
It has not been determined how the Eliot Street fire started or if the boys caused the fire, but Taylor said fear of getting in trouble is another reason why some children hide. Some younger children are also afraid of the firefighters.
“We’re huge when we have all this gear on. We’re bulky, we’re heavy, we’re making a lot of noise,” Taylor said. “As you can imagine we’re in an environment where we can’t see, so we’re knocking around in there with tools. It’s absolutely going to be a situation where children would be afraid.”READ MORE: Colorado Encourages COVID Vaccine As CDC Changes Mask Guidance
Taylor said firefighters try to reduce such fears by going to schools to show children what firefighters look like with plain clothes on and with their heavy gear and masks.
“We want them to see the difference that it is the same person and hopefully inhibit some of the fears they naturally have,” Taylor said.
Though firefighters train to search for possible victims in obscure places, Taylor said parents need to teach their children fire safety. One of the most important things to do is create a fire escape plan and safe meeting place in case of an emergency.
“It’s usually a tree in the neighbor’s yard across the street or their mailbox,” Taylor said. “Certainly you want it to be far enough away from the home but where the children feel safe.”
It is also important for families to practice their escape plan so every family member is familiar with what to do, especially if an adult isn’t home like in the case of the Eliot Street fire.
“Always make sure their children know the number one priority is safety and getting out of the home,” Taylor said.MORE NEWS: Large Rock Dislodged & Dragged In Fraser... But Why?
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now reports for CBS4 News at 10 and is always open to story ideas. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.