HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The latest numbers show at least a dozen people are dead, dozens are injured, some critically, following the overnight fire that burned through a 24-story apartment tower in London on Wednesday morning.
Witnesses reported seeing people banging on windows and throwing children from high windows.
Here in Huntsville, local firefighters gave perspective on how their training pays off in tragic situations like this.
“It would be a very daunting task,” Capt. Wesley Ogle with Huntsville Fire & Rescue said of the fire in London.
Most firefighters in Huntsville haven’t responded to a large-scale situation like the one at the high-rise.
“It would take a lot of man power, a lot of personnel and a lot of it depends on how far the fire has progressed prior to your arrival,” Capt. Ogle said.
Capt. Ogle said he isn’t familiar with London’s fire safety measures, but believes we’re fortunate in this country.
“The fire protection codes we have in the United States really help with they type of situation because they keep the fire at bay until we’re able to get there to extinguish it,” Capt. Ogle said.
Firefighters spoke about the approach they take when responding to a burning building with people trapped inside.
“If we pull up and we can see victims in the windows, or something like that, then whoever’s closest to the fire is going to get our attention first in most cases,” Capt. Ogle.
As the world watched crews fight the flames, local firefighters here believe saving others comes before saving yourself.
“You don’t really stop to think the risk to you, as much as what we should in a lot of cases, but we’re just focused on helping somebody else,” Capt. Ogle said. “That’s what our goal is and that’s what we’re here to do.”