Fire Safety Tips - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/19/02

Fire Safety Tips

Funeral services were held today for the four victims of last Friday's fire on West 38th Street in Savannah.Ten people were asleep on the second floor of a house when neighbors spotted flames shooting out of a window. Two adults and four children survived, but 76-year-old Lizzie Butterfield, 50-year-old Linda Hall and two children died. Their services were held this afternoon at Mount Sinai Baptist Church.

Last week's fire was just one of many fires Savannah firefighters have been called to since the cold weather season began. They want to remind people about the dangers this holiday season brings. Whether it's a Christmas candle or a space heater, it can cause tragedy if not used correctly.

Brenda Dilbert of Savannah FD told us, "This time of year, you want to be extremely careful."

Because if you don't pay extra attention things can go wrong. Investigators are saying Friday's fire was accidental, more than likely caused by a candle left unattended. Firefighters say candles left unattended are beginning to be the number one cause of house fires this season.

"Forty percent of all home fires caused by candles that start in the bedroom, 38 percent of those have been left unattended or person has fallen asleep," said Dilbert.

Another problem is space heaters. Many people use them to keep warm, but they don't know how to use them correctly.

"If you leave your home, just go ahead and unplug it, don't have it by bedding or curtains, anything that can cause a fire, and keep that fire going," advised Dilbert.

Remember also to keep matches and lighters out of children's reach. And don't forget to keep that Christmas tree fully hydrated; a dry Christmas tree can be a big fire hazard. Firefighters say if you remember these rules- you have better chance at being safe this winter season.

Reported by: Elizabeth Garcia, egarcia@wtoc.com

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