(WTVM) - "If I hadn't been out of town, my wife could have died," said a Phenix City homeowner as he described the scene of a fire taking over his backyard.
"I was in my workshop, the grass was all on fire, so I ran inside my house," said the homeowner.
"By the time we got back out here, it had already gotten back on my workshop."
Within a matter of minutes, flames engulfed his backyard shed, which destroyed hundreds of family heirlooms and personal belongings the homeowner kept in the shed.
"I mean you name and it was probably in there."
But for this homeowner, the fire on his property was one of the frequent situations happening recently across the Chattahoochee Valley area.
Since the beginning of this March, News Leader 9 has covered more than five fire-related incidents. The most recent fire occurring in Lee County, on 390 Lee Rd. 222.
Although only items were damaged from the most recent fire in Lee County, according to the American Red Cross, with house fires you may have as little as two minutes to escape a fire before it becomes potentially life threatening.
Fire officials said predicting when a fire could start is challenging, but they said the first steps to preventing a fire could be as easy as changing the batteries in your smoke detectors.
According to the International Association of Fire Chiefs, households with non-working smoke alarms now outnumber those with no smoke alarms.
Fire officials encourage homeowners to change the batteries in their smoke detectors every time they reset their household clocks to standard time.