March 16, 2022

What Happens During A House Fire?

Fire is something no one wants to experience, and yet we see it all the time. Our restoration team is here to lessen the aftermath.


Within seconds of a flame, a fire can easily spread, and within thirty seconds that small flame can turn into a full-blown, life-threatening fire! A sad fact is that house fires kill more Americans each year than natural disasters. Of these, almost half of the house fires—44%—accidentally start from the stovetop!

Damages from a house fire can cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage and even cost lives. If you are lucky enough to escape a house fire, it is important to know that even once the fire is out, internal damages to materials and the home can still pose a threat to your health, and immediate and proper cleanup and restoration is vital!

How Fast a Fire Spreads

It only takes 30 seconds for a small flame to turn into a severe, life-threatening fire. House fires have become more dangerous and devastating today than they were in the past. Over the past three decades, the prevalence of synthetic materials in the home has caused a drastic increase in the flammability of the materials in a house.

It is a lot more alarming when you compare the average escape time. Thirty years ago, you had on average 14 to 17 minutes to escape a house fire versus today you have on average just 2 to 3 minutes, with the home often being entirely engulfed in flames in under 4 minutes. That’s quite the difference!

If you can, try to subdue the fire before it gets out of control. Otherwise, get outside to safety as fast as you can. Create a fire escape plan for your family and know what to do just in case a fire occurs. You may also want to keep a fire extinguisher in your home.

The Aftermath

The aftermath of a housefire most likely brings extensive damage to the entire house and its contents. Even if a room or section of the house was not engulfed in flames, chances are the high heat and smoke have left their marks.

The high heat from the fire can soften window glass, melt plastic, and even blister and char wood. Additionally, most appliances are made of both metal and plastic, leaving them ruined and beyond repair.

Plastic and synthetic materials, when burned or melted, give off dangerous gas toxins. Smoke from the fire is also left in the home’s walls and synthetic materials are also dangerous to breathe in. These toxins and odors are extremely toxic to one’s short and long-term respiratory and neurological health.

For your safety, only let the experts in a fire-damaged property and work with your insurance company or an adjuster to help get your home restoration efforts underway as soon as possible.

When a fire is finally extinguished, restoration must start immediately in order to salvage any possible remains.

Returning Home After Restoration

You should never return to your home unless the Fire Marshall has granted permission for a safe return. Even if the fire seemed small and was put out quickly, you need to be cautious upon your return.

Dealing with the aftermath of a fire and the cleanup is not something you should attempt, due to the extreme health risk involved; an expert fire restoration technician at Onsite Restoration should be the only one starting the cleanup process.

Timing is important and needs to start as soon as it is deemed safe to return. Synthetic materials continue to create chemical reactions, long after the fire has been put out, and the longer it takes to properly clean them the more chances they will be ruined and not salvageable.

How We’ll Restore Your Home

At Onsite Restoration, we focus on several phrases to help restore your home to as close to its original condition as possible.

  • Emergency pre-cleaning
  • Home contents restoration
  • Water damage restoration
  • Odor elimination

After a Fire, Call Onsite Restoration

A housefire is devastating, there’s no other way to describe it. At Onsite Restoration, we are available any time of day and we will take care of the cleanup process for you.

While this is likely your first fire, it’s not ours. Our quick response time, advanced technology, expert care, and extensive knowledge will make the fire cleanup process more efficient with less long-term damage. And you can rest easy knowing we will work with your insurance provider to make sure all the necessary forms are filled out for your claim.

When a fire starts, don’t delay, call Onsite Restoration at 813-579-5789.  

*Photo Credit: WFLA