by Phil Prazan
Authorities say a worn electrical cord is to blame for a Lake City house fire that killed three children and an adult Tuesday.
The fire chief there says the cord got stuck in a couch and overheated. The room was being renovated with exposed walls and insulation, which caused the fire to quickly spread throughout the house. The intense heat and smoke prevented rescuers from getting inside.
There was no evidence of smoke detectors in the debris. In light of that awful tragedy, officials are pushing a renewed commitment to safety.
We asked Des Moines firefighter Brian O'Keefe for safety advice. He recommends having a smoke detector on every floor and inside and outside every bedroom.
Linking them together so they all go off at once is the best idea. But just having them isn't enough - they need to work. Check the batteries every six months.
"We highly recommend that you fill out the warrantee and send it back to the manufacturer in case there's any issue down the road. Then secondly if it does have a battery or a battery back up - put a date on the battery so you know how long it's been in there," says Brian O'Keefe from Des Moines' Fire Department.
It's also important to remember that you should never have anything on top of cords, don't let it get pinched.