Uptick in house fires in Martin County

Uptick in house fires in Martin County

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MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. -- Martin County firefighters say they have responded to an unusually high number of structural fires this holiday season.

Fire Prevention Bureau Chief Doug Killane says crews have responded to six fires in just ten days.

"Right now, we've been extremely busy. All of our shifts have had fire activity that they've responded to," Killane said.

He explains fire fighters can typically go weeks, if not months, without a single house fire.

The recent uptick in fires have reached every corner of the county.

They've displaced at least ten people, injured two, and killed a couple pets.

The Red Cross is helping some of the fire victims.

"The fires have been enough to displace families from their homes. Some of them will be displaced just temporarily while repairs are done, but they're not inhabitable. There were other fires that were completely devastating and the homes are going to have to be demolished," Killane said.

There are various causes under investigation for the fires.

The most recent, a house fire in Stuart along Glen Ridge Trail, may have been sparked by a battery charger, according to Killian.

One of the most notable fires to a manger display in Stuart may have been sparked by fireworks.

Electrical issues, fireplace malfunctions, space heaters and gas grills are also likely to blame.

The holiday season is commonly busy for firefighters across the country.

"The trend has to do with more activity. We have things where it's getting a little cooler, we use a lot more candles for ceremonies, we do a lot more cooking in a family setting and we use heating equipment," Killane said.

With a potential cool front on the way, Killane urges people to be careful.

"We're hoping that trend will now kind of level off and we will be able to go about our normal business everyday."

You can check out  fire prevention tips at http://www.nfpa.org/safetytips

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