Heating season signals increase in devastating house fires

Photo Courtesy: Springfield Fire Department

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – We are heading into peak house fire season and already, we’ve seen an increase in devastating fires.

The Red Cross has been busy offering food, clothing and a place to stay to people who’ve lost everything. Most fires start in the kitchen.

“You take a cooking mitt or a wooden spoon with you if you have to walk away from an active stove, because eventually you are going to look down and go, oh I was cooking something, I probably shouldn’t have walked away from the stove,” explained Dave Basler, a volunteer for the Western Massachusetts Red Cross.

Obviously the Western Massachusetts Red Cross wants to make sure you don’t need disaster relief. Which is why they offer fire prevention program like free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You should have changed the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors when you changed the clocks.

The West Springfield Fire Department advises you to be careful with space heaters, never use and extension cord and don’t leave it around sheets or clothing. Keep a circle of safety around your candles, lock up your matches, don’t grill inside, ventilate your generator, use LED Christmas bulbs, and water the tree.

“They don’t get around to cleaning their chimney’s. And of course with carbon monoxide, there are more products of carbon monoxide in the winter with the heating element with wood and pellet stoves and even with gas or any kind of propane heat,” said acting Fire Department Lieutenant Kevin Murphy.

Just this past weekend, 36 people and 11 families are now homeless in western Massachusetts. There were nearly a dozen fires across the state.