Holiday week marked by several house fires in Fayetteville
Posted December 26, 2014
Fayetteville, N.C. — Firefighters in Fayetteville and Cumberland County were busy this week battling several house fires that injured a child and left several people homeless over the holidays.
An 8-year-old was severely burned in a house fire Monday on Selma Drive.
"We knew we had a life hazard,” Fayetteville Deputy Fire Chief Tracy Smith said. “Family members were here…and we were having to keep them from trying to get back in.”
Flames and smoke at a duplex on Wilma Street chased five people into the street on Christmas Eve.
"We heard the alarms going and all we seen was the smoke,” resident Rick Hester said. “We ran out. That’s the only thing we could do.”
One person suffered minor smoke inhalation, and firefighters were able to rescue the family's dog.
On Thursday, investigators said two dogs died in an electrical fire that ripped through a home on Banner Elk Drive.
Fayetteville Assistant Fire Chief Richard Bradshaw on Friday reminded residents that Christmas can pose extra dangers, especially as live Christmas trees begin to dry out.
Another major fire hazard during winter months is space heaters. Experts say they need to be several feet away from combustibles such as furniture and curtains. And kerosene heaters should never be filled with gas.
"We have had cases where people were filling them gas and taking them back inside and turning them on or starting them, Bradshaw said.
He said a major cause of holiday fires is consuming alcoholic drinks while cooking.
"They got things going on in the kitchen, and they tend to lose track of stuff on top of the stove,” Bradshaw said. “It doesn’t take but a split second for things to get out of hand.”