Fresno Fire sees increase in fires started by home heating

Friday, December 23, 2022
Fresno Fire sees increase in fires started by home heating
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Cold temperatures are sparking a dangerous trend across the Valley. Fresno County Fire says they've seen an uptick in home heating fires.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Cold temperatures are sparking a dangerous trend across the Valley. Fresno County Fire says they've seen an uptick in home heating fires.

Tis the season to fire up the chimney and turn on the stove. For Fresno Fire, it means that the calls start coming.

"It's that time of year when people start to burn their wood stoves and we're responding a lot more to chimney fires and wood stove fires and cooking and warming fires," said Fresno County Fire Engineer Colton Tulley.

In the past weeks, Fresno Fire has seen an increase in these types of calls.

"We see an increase in home heater fires or fireplace fires in the months of December, January and February," said Fresno County Fire Battalion Chief John Dominguez. "We're also seeing an increase in heaters or space heaters that have caused fires. People have used those to dry wet clothes."

According to the National Fire Protection Association home heating fires account for 500 deaths and over 1,300 injuries a year, something that Fresno County Fire is trying to prevent.

"We want to educate the public that if you're using a chimney make sure it's cleaned and inspected annually and for the heaters don't use those with flammable items around," said Dominguez.

They also recommend putting a screen up around your fireplace to prevent embers from flying and if you're leaving the house.

"Residents have left their fire places unattended and have left. Even if you leave for several hours make sure that fires extinguished and cool the ashes for proper disposal," added Dominguez.

Also, make sure your Christmas tree is safe distance from any source of heat.

"Those start fires and it could be a devastating fire for yourself and your family," said Dominguez.