Fire officials brace for holiday fires, give tips to stay safe

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE)- This year has been unprecedented for the Fresno Fire Department when it comes to the number of fires in Fresno and over the next 48 hours, firefighters are preparing for even more calls of service.

The Fresno Fire Department has responded to over 7000 fires in 2021, which is a 25% increase from 2020.

“The holidays are always a busy time for fire departments across the country and Fresno is no exception,” said Fresno Fire Spokesperson Jonathan Lopez.

As families gather around Christmas trees and dinner tables this year to celebrate the holidays, firefighters are on standby in case of emergency.

“Surprisingly one of the number one causes of cooking fires is people leaving cooking unattended,” said Lopez.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments get the most cooking-related fire calls on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Over 25% of the people killed nationally by those cooking fires were people sleeping when the blaze broke out.

“They may put something on the stove, turn the heat on, and then leave the house or even go to bed,” said Lopez.

The Reedley Fire Department just his week has responded to three house fires. One was a stove fire, and another was burning a Christmas tree.

Departments say people should make sure smoke detectors are working, have an escape plan, water trees, and never use an oven or stove to heat your house.

If a fire does break out, the fire department said never to put water on a grease fire, instead cover the pan or pot with a lid.

Also, if a fire breaks out in the oven, Lopez said to turn it off and keep the doors closed and call for help.

“Our firefighters here in Fresno are here to protect people 365 days a year, 24 hours a day,” said Lopez. “That includes holidays. We just ask that people do their best to try and stay safe.”

The Fresno Fire Department said fires in the city this year have resulted in over $54 million dollars in loss.

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