It's got to be among the top nightmares that can become reality at any time. Your house or your apartment is filling up with smoke as a fire grows.
From a prevention standpoint, you need to have three things always at the ready: A working smoke detector, a fire extinguisher and a family evacuation plan.
"We talk to 3rd graders all the time and tell them they need two things to escape a fire," said Capt. Wes Hall of the Amarillo Fire Department. "A warning and a plan. the warning is the smoke alarm and the plan is going to be a fire safety plan they come up with mom and dad."
Cpt. Hall said he teaches fire prevention almost daily to area school kids and he stresses the need for students to remind parents to keep their escape plan up to date.
"If you can stay calm and know your surroundings and stay alert, you have a much better chance of surviving and by practicing it."
And all the preperations in the world won't do you any good if you're prevention measure aren't working.
We asked, "So, something simple liking changing batteries in a smoke detector can literally save your life?"
Hall responded, "Especailly when it comes to elderly population and they're not able to do it, if they'll call me I"ll come out and take care of that for them.
As far as fire extinguishers go, he wants to make sure those are left to the grown ups, but the main point he stresses to kids and adults alike is simply get out and let the firefighters fight the blaze.
"We have 12 stations throughout the town and we cam always get there almost always within 4 minutes. and if you give us a call , the quicker we get there and can help you and the better off you are. Really, if there's any doubt we want you to get outside and give us a call," Hall said.