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House Fires Spike With Cold Temps

Updated: Monday, February 18 2013, 07:49 PM EST
Firefighters say they're battling a surge in house fires lately because of plummeting temperatures outside.  This past weekend two homes burned in Buncombe County. 

"There has been an increase.  When it gets colder we start seeing more fires," said Chief Trevor Lance of Skyland Fire & Rescue.

That's because many homeowners are turning to cost saving fireplaces to stay warm.  The problem for some, however, is dirty chimneys.  "We had a chimney fire for us two days ago," said Lance. 

That fire happened at the home of a neighbor to Keith Dockins.  "They kept everything contained and kept the roof cooled down until the fire burned out of the chimney itself," Dockins told News 13's Mario Boone.

Dockins, who also uses a wood burning fireplace, said he works hard to avoid the same fate.  "Well, we clean it at least once a year."

Another way not to catch the house on fire is burning the right wood, "seasoned" wood.  "Not green wood because it builds up an increase of creosote," Lance said.

Of course space heaters can be dangerous as well.  Firefighters sounded a familiar warning, telling homeowners to keep space heaters at least three feet from anything combustible.

By: Mario Boone, mlboone@wlos.com
Follow on Twitter: @mariobooneHouse Fires Spike With Cold Temps


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