Trying to put a fire out can be deadly, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers Ayers is warning after a blaze in Southwest Philadelphia took the life of a 49-year-old man.
Get out, get everyone else out, call 911 and stay out, he said.
This year, seven people have lost their lives because someone stopped to fight the fire instead of first escaping, then calling 911.
The blaze, reported shortly after 11 p.m., broke out in a front bedroom on the second floor at 2059 S. Frazier St.
A smoke alarm did go off, but the home owner decided to try to put the fire out - and failed - before fleeing and finally calling 911, Ayers said.
When fire fighters arrived, smoke was already filling the home, Ayers said.
The victim, found in the bedroom, was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:25 p.m.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
If a fire is small and easily extinguished - like putting a lid on a flaming pan and turning off the heat - putting it out can make sense, Ayers acknowledged.
But if it's spreading to drapes, walls, cabinets or furniture, don't wait.
Filling a bucket with water is way too slow, he said.
"We here in Philadelphia, we teach fire extinguishers you use to make your way out," he said.
"You have to immediately get everybody out. You have to make sure everybody is accounted for. Once out, stay out," he said.
The victim's name had not been released as of early afternoon.