‘You got to take that stuff seriously’: Halls Apartments fire victim urges the importance of learning fire prevention

Local News

Oct. 4-10 is recognized as Fire Prevention Week nationwide.

“It wasn’t a beautiful sight at all, as I saw the building go up in flames,” said Kelvin Vinson, a fire victim.

Kelvin Vinson is talking about the February fire that consumed the Halls Apartments building in downtown Minot.

Vinson added, “I woke up to the smell of smoke. My neighbor came and knocked on my door and told me to get out of the building. So I got what I could and got out.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fires are most often caused by cooking.
Even though that was not the case for his apartment complex, Vinson says he still takes the necessary steps to make sure he is prepared.

“I put some fire extinguishers in my kitchen and my bathroom,” said Vinson.

Home fires claim seven lives every day in the nation, but a new survey shows most people aren’t taking the steps to protect ourselves. A fire inspector with the Minot Fire Department says there are several steps to take in order to stay prepared and safe.

“Let’s practice fire drills at home. Kids in schools practice them on a monthly basis, but not at home where they spend more time and where they sleep. They should understand what their fire alarm sounds like and what to do,” said Stuart Hammer, Minot Fire Department Fire Inspector.

He says changing batteries in smoke detectors every six months is also important, but many people forget to test them monthly. As for Vinson, he says he hopes he never has to go through an event like he did before and doesn’t want anyone else to either.

“Just don’t mess around. You got to take that stuff seriously,” he added.

Hammer says when doing those drills with your family, make sure to include at least two ways to exit every room in your home and to also pick a safe meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home.

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