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Eastern NC fires on the rise

By Michael Hennessey
Published On: Nov 21 2013 05:36:19 PM CST
GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY -

Red Cross officials say they've responded to 35 fires in Eastern North Carolina in November alone.

They say that's a significant rise from the amount of fires in November last year. Greenville Fire/Rescue officials have responded to ten residential fires, seven of which were a result of unattended cooking.

It's a trend they expect to continue, thanks to the upcoming holiday season.

"An increase of kitchen fires on Thanksgiving Day," said Greenville Fire/Rescue Chief Shannon Terry, is something that happens every year. "When the fire occurs, nobody's there to put the lid on the stove or turn the burner down."

Terry says when nobody is paying attention "the fire has the opportunity to double, triple in size, very quickly."

It's not just the fire people need to be aware of. Terry says the smoke caused by the flames can be just as dangerous. "Smoke that is full of toxins, heat and gasses that are detrimental to folks," said Terry.

The Red Cross says home heating sources and candles are also responsible for a large amount of holiday fires.

The U.S. Fire Administration says on average, 156,000 fires occur nationally during the holiday season. Those fires claim more than 630 lives, causing more than 2,600 injuries and coating $936 million dollars in property damage.