HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new public service announcement from the Honolulu Fire Department that began airing recently features a wake up call on the dangers of house fires.
The PSA shows a boy, his father and pet dog asleep while actually succumbing to the impacts of smoke ― without even knowing it.
“This boy is dying. He’s dying because there’s a fire in the house," the narrator says. "The smoke from the fire is already filling his lungs and killing him while he sleeps.”
“I think it’s a great initiative by the fire department to push for working smoke alarms,” said former Honolulu fire captain and public information officer Richard Soo, who was not part of HFD’s campaign.
He spent 27 years with the fire department.
“It’s the experience of a firefighter when you go to these scenes. That’s what really kills is the smoke,” he said.
He says smoke alarms saved his own family when a fire erupted in his kitchen years ago.
"I wasn't home at the time of the fire, but my two sons were in the lower level of the bedrooms and they heard the smoke alarms. My youngest son said when he came up the stairs to exit, the ceiling was collapsing," said Soo.
The fire department says having a working smoke alarm in your home will increase chances of survival by more than 50%.
Two-thirds of the Oahu homes where fires have resulted in death did not have working smoke alarms.
In another HFD ad, the message warns about post traumatic stress long after the fire is out.
Soo still thinks about the fire that gutted his house and destroyed precious keepsakes, but he says a look inside his home is proof people can rebuild.