House fires surging in Region 8

by Stan Morris e-mail | Twitter

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro Fire Department's Battalion Two is one of many in Region 8 that have seen spikes in the number of fires. They say the factors of December are causing the surge.

"Its mainly due to the different ways you heat your home that you see the dramatic increase of fires during the winter time," said Battalion Chief Brett Winstead.

Winstead has worked countless fires in his career, and he says this time of the year is always the worst. He says winter always sees more structure fires.

The most dangerous fires often happen at dark. That's when Winstead says is the most dangerous time. He says people often believe smoke will wake them up, but the carbon monoxide will actually put people into a deeper sleep.

He encourages people to install smoke detectors all across their homes and even in, or near, the attic. He says many recent fires have started in the attic. One home's residents were not even aware their house was on fire until notified by neighbors.

Chief Winstead also says having a plan can often mean the difference between life or death. His firefighters teach students at area schools about the importance of plans, and he says they're often the ones who bring the plan home for use by the whole family.

"When a fire happens, most people will freak out. Your mind is racing. and you forget everything you knew before the fire happened," he says.

But, most importantly, Chief Winstead says if your home catches on fire, "get out."

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