Firefighters encourage escape plans after deadly house fires

- After two deadly house fires in less than 24 hours, firefighters are reminding families to have an escape plan and practice it several times a year.

Tuesday, a fire in St. Petersburg killed 5-year-old Hassan Vann. Police say his family thought he was with them when they escaped, but he was trapped inside a bedroom. Police said Vann died of smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

On Wednesday in the early morning hours another fire claimed the life of a 67-year-old man from San Antonio in Pasco County. Firefighters say he couldn't get out in time.

Firefighters say every family should have an escape plan, including two routes out, in case one is blocked.

It's not enough to just have the plan. Firefighters say families need to practice it at least twice a year. The plan should include a meeting point once safely outside the home.

"You want to have it ingrained in your mind that you know and it comes automatically like second nature that this is what we need to do and this is where we need to go and practice that and it'll work out for you in a stressful situation," said Lt. Neil Kummerer, spokesman for St. Petersburg Fire Rescue.

Working smoke detectors can also save lives. Fire officials say if families don't have them or can't change the batteries to contact a local fire department for help.

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