Winter months busy for firefighters - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Winter months busy for firefighters

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GREENFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Every winter firefighters see a surge in house fires, often caused by space heaters or wood stoves.

A Greenfield family is safe tonight after their Lincoln Street home caught on fire.

Firefighters say a pellet stove is probably what started it.

"Always there's more fires in the winter just from the heating and chimney fires and stuff like that," said Capt. Kyle Phelps with the Greenfield Fire Department. 

It's a common problem seen here in Western Mass. The winter months are the busiest time of year for house fires.

Just this week, firefighters across the area have battled blazes. Springfield fire officials say an Indian Orchard home caught on fire when a space heater was plugged into a faulty extension cord.

The fire caused about $30,000 in damages.

It's a problem seen across the country this time of year.

According to the National Fire Protection Association in 2011:

 

  • Home-heating related fires made up 14 percent of all fires  
  • 400 people died from heating-related fires.
  • They caused $893 million in damages nationwide.

 

Firefighters have some tips like keeping anything flammable at least three feet away from a heating source like a space heater or pellet stove.

"You always want to make sure you don't leave anything unattended, whether it's a space heater or an oven or any type of heater in your home, you want to make sure it's out before you leave," Phelps said. 

Tonight the four people that live in the Greenfield home are lucky. There's minimal damage done and they'll get to stay in their home.

For more winter fire prevention tips click here.

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