Faces of Fire: Two grandchildren lost in a home fire on Christmas morning
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The noise of the smoke alarm roused Irv Bailey out of bed. He was startled by flames erupting in the adjacent dining room. Disoriented, Irv's first impulse was to fight the fire himself. But as the flames got larger and began to spread, he quickly realized this wasn't an option. From that point, Irv recalls little but chaos as he yelled for his wife and family.
The Baileys' two grandchildren, 12-year-old Solon and 10-year-old William lost their lives in the fire. "There was just an explosion of smoke that filled the house so quickly," Irv says. "I would get halfway up the stairs and it was just too hot, and I couldn't get to them." From the outside, they could hear the boys' desperate cries.
When the fire department arrived, they couldn't even attempt to go upstairs. The upper floors had collapsed into the basement and the house was destroyed. Three firefighters were injured in the blaze.
The Baileys' home smoke alarms worked and the fire department was automatically summoned by their security system. Mr. Bailey explains; "Even with our alert systems working properly, we couldn't save the boys. The experts tell us that there would have been no loss of life if we had fire sprinklers."