Burglar bars with a dead bolt lock blocked the front door of the home at 3221 Decatur St. where a mother and her two daughters died in a fire early Tuesday.
Those bars are a choice homeowners make between security and safety. They can delay firefighters getting inside a burning house by 90 seconds, said Fire Marshal Ricky Shores.
“It does slow us down,” he said. “That minute could make a difference in saving a life. Sometimes security and fire safety bump heads.”
Such a door can also be a deadly barrier if those in the home can’t find the key to unlock it from the inside.
Authorities say the deceased -- Nordalie Douglas, 32, and her daughters, 10-year-old fifth-grader Zakoya Bankston and 6-year-old first-grader Mackayla Gulley, both students at Brewer Elementary School -- had been in the house about a year. They came from North Carolina to live in a neighborhood that’s seen three homicides in the past week and a half.
Read MORE. For an article on overcoming extreme home security measures, read "Burglar Bar Removal: Strategy and Tactics" and "HVAC Burglar Bars".