Local News

String of weekend house fires shows dangerous winter habits

Posted January 19, 2020 1:56 p.m. EST
Updated January 19, 2020 6:53 p.m. EST

— It was a busy weekend for firefighters in the Triangle.

On Saturday and Sunday alone, crews responded to at least five house fires. While the causes of the fires are still under investigation, firefighters say they aren’t surprised by the frequency.

"Colder months normally bring more fires for us," said Jeff Roberts, Battalion Chief of the Durham Fire Department. "December and January are normally the highest call volume for fires because heating equipment brings more chances for fire."

According to Roberts, homeowners need to keep heaters away from furniture and other items that can easily catch fire. To avoid fires, Roberts said all residents should have their heating equipment checked.

Furthermore, while working smoke detectors won’t stop a fire, they provide early detection of fires and get people out a lot sooner, Roberts added.

"Everyone needs one working smoke detector in each bedroom and outside each bedroom," he said.

More than 20 people are currently without a home due to recent house fires in Cumberland, Durham and Wake counties.

In Durham on Saturday and Sunday, two fires on High Meadow Road and Dupree Street left 11 people displaced. A southeast Raleigh family of two woke up early Sunday morning to their neighbor pounding on their door. Their house was on fire and they didn't know about it.

Grease fires are another common cause, and officials say people should never leave the kitchen when cooking on the stove.

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