Call It In

Here’s a case that shows why it’s a good idea to go ahead and call the Fire Department even if you think you’ve put out the fire:

Glen Robinson gazed at the smoldering remains of his home near Texas Christian University, glad to be alive, but fighting guilt.

His longtime landlord, William Tooley, died early Thursday in a fire that was sparked by a burning mattress.

“I’m ashamed to talk about it,” said Robinson, fighting back tears. “It’s my mattress. I guess that’s who you would blame.”

Robinson, who lived in a garage apartment, said his cigarette ignited the mattress around 1:30 a.m. Thursday. He doused the fire and then took the mattress outside, where he propped it against an outside wall.

“Unfortunately, he didn’t realize that those mattresses can smolder for some period of time,’’ said Lt. Kent Worley, a spokesman for the Fort Worth Fire Department.  “They’re tightly packed, like a cotton bale. “

“About four hours later, it did ignite the rear portion of the house, and that portion has been gutted by the flames.”

You can’t really be sure that a fire is out until you’ve torn out all of the burned area and gotten down to a clean, unburned, surface.  But rather than trying to make that determination yourself, it’d probably be best to let the FD come out and check.  It’s better to call it in and it turn out to be a false alarm than to think you’ve put out the fire only for it to return later.

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