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Red Cross assisting more victims of house fires in Arkansas, Missouri

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 11:43 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The American Red Cross reports assisted more than 1,000 victims of house fires in Missouri and Arkansas in the last two weeks.

In southern Missouri alone, Red Cross volunteers have helped 136 victims since February 1.

Investigators link many of the fires to home heating, as more use alternative methods to keep their houses warm. The Red Cross reminds you to keep at least three feet around all heating equipment, place space heaters on level, hard, non-flammable surfaces, and plug them directly into an outlet, never an extension cord. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home. And never leave a fire in a fireplace or a space heater unattended. Use a glass or metal fire screen in front of your fireplace, and have wood stoves, fireplaces and chimneys inspected each year.

“This is something that we typically see and increase in the number of home fires that we respond to when the weather is cold,” said Angie Springs, American Red Cross Spokesperson. “And obviously, we have been in an incredibly cold snap over the last few weeks. And we can see that that rise in that number of cases. Now, thankfully, the weather is warming up and we would hope that that number would slow down.”

The Red Cross provides immediate help for house fire victims, such as emergency lodging, and help with purchasing food, clothes, medications and other urgent needs. They also help with recovery planning.

Fire Prevention and Safety Checklist: CLICK HERE.

Home Fire Escape Plan: CLICK HERE.

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