Fire officials are asking residents to be more aware of safety in the wake of a number of recent residential fires.
Durham firefighters have answered six residential fire calls since late December. There is no pattern to those fires and they are not related, said Chris Iannuzzi, deputy chief for the City of Durham Fire Department. Most of the fires were caused by carelessness, he said.
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Here’s a look at Durham’s most recent run of fires and their apparent causes, if available:
▪ An unattended candle caused a Jan. 9 fire at 5204 Partridge St., fire investigators reported. The fire damaged the bedroom and hallway. Improper use of a kerosene heater caused a house fire at 3611 Four Seasons Drive. Someone put a blanket and towel on top of the heater, causing the blaze, Iannuzzi said.
▪ An electrical cooking applicance, left unattended on a deck, caused a Jan. 1 fire at 1111 Rosedale Avenue, Iannuzzi said.
▪ The Durham County fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of a Jan. 9 fire at 4117 Olde Coach Road, and a Jan. 9 fire at 2812 Split Rail Place.
Iannuzzi offered some safety tips for the winter months. Every year, firefighters answer at least one call in which a resident tries to put gasoline into a kerosene heater. “That’s a disaster waiting to happen, and it usually results in the person lighting it getting burned,” Iannuzzi said.
When using electric space heaters, plug the unit directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord, he said.
In case of a power outage during winter weather, keep any generators 15 to 20 feet away from the house to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, Iannuzzi said.
A lot of people are burning leaves at this time of year. While burning is prohibited in the city, the county allows it, Iannuzzi said. If you burn leaves, do not use gasoline to light the fire.
Residents also should make sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working, he said.
For more fire safety tips, visit the city of Durham website at durhamnc.gov/1162/Fire-Safety-Education-Programs.