Home Security Video Reveals How Fast a House Fire Can Become Deadly and Why Home Fire Sprinklers Are So Important

We’re all used to seeing doorbell camera social media posts, but I wasn’t prepared for the dramatic security recording I watched this past winter. Nothing illustrates how fast a house fire can become deadly than video shot in real time. And this footage captured every minute of a tragic fire in Millers Falls, Massachusetts. Across the street, a home security camera with a clear view of the front of the burning home left a memorable record of its fast destruction.


According to the Turners Falls Fire Department, the fire started in a room on the first floor at the front corner of the house. From the video, flames can be seen in the window, but even as they grow, passing drivers don’t appear to notice. In less than three minutes, the video shows the fire spread to another room and outside the home, catching the moment flashover occurs. At that point you can hear the windows break and the crackling sound of the growing fire on the camera’s audio. Several occupants were able to escape. Sadly, one person and two family pets did not survive this fire.


The owner of the security camera posted the footage on YouTube and allowed local media to use it to report the story. The Massachusetts Fire Sprinkler Coalition saw the coverage and recognized that the recording provided an important opportunity to use as an educational tool. They remembered that the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition had created an educational video a couple years back that showed interior security footage of a fire in an occupied room in a home. That video has received more than 2 million YouTube views to date.


The Coalition approached HFSC and together they produced a short video that pairs the Millers Falls security footage with HFSC’s interior video of an actual living room fire, with and without an installed home fire sprinkler. This dramatic new resource will help viewers understand how destructive home fires truly are and the lifesaving difference when a home is protected with fire sprinklers. We encourage you to share this video (below) as part of your outreach activities in your community.




HFSC focuses its educational efforts on installing fire sprinklers at the time of construction. The Millers Falls fire was in an older home and it’s not realistic to expect older existing homes to be retrofit with fire sprinklers. But the fire footage is a real-life example of how fast and dangerous home fires actually are, and why fire sprinklers are required in today’s codes. This video is proof of why every new construction home should be protected.


For more information about home fire sprinklers and to get free resources to share, visit the HFSC website.

Sign up for the NFPA Network Newsletter
Lorraine Carli
VP, Outreach & Advocacy, Working to save lives and property through awareness, action and collaborations.

Related Articles