BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With the holidays quickly approaching, an urgent warning from the Baltimore City Fire Department comes our way.

This week marks Fire Prevention Week, and officials are doing everything they can to try and save lives as families across Maryland have been destroyed by tragic fires over the years.

“Arranging a funeral for six people you love, is the worst thing that could ever happen in your life, trust me, I know,” said Sher Grogg, a fire safety advocate.

In 2015, Grogg’s brother, sister-in-law and their four grandchildren were killed when flames ripped through their mansion in Annapolis. An electrical outlet ignited a Christmas tree skirt.

“It was a huge house and it was engulfed in flames within minutes,” Grogg said.

In 2017, the Malone family’s Northeast Baltimore home went up in flames leaving six children dead despite several rescue attempts.

“I said I hear them I got to go I got to go, it hurt me so bad, it just hurt me so bad, cause I could hear them,” A neighbor said.

And later last year, it was Alicia Evans and her two little girls who ended up trapped in their burning home in Baltimore.

All three died.

“It hurts extremely bad, I wish I could trade places with her,” said member of Evans’ family.

The Baltimore City Fire Department conducted a live burn demonstration Thursday.

Two rooms, side by side, one had sprinklers and one went without.

“Fire is fast, fire sprinklers buy time and time buys life,” said Shane Ray, president of National Fire Sprinkler Association.

With the fast-moving flames, time is of the essence, and being prepared can really  mean the difference between life and death.

“Since I really can’t bring them back and I can’t save them, I’d really like to save another family the pain and suffering we had,” Grogg said.

Baltimore City had at least 28 fire deaths last year. That’s the most they have had in a decade.

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Rick Ritter


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