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Fatalities Prompt Winter Fire Risk Warning

  

In the past two days, three people have died in two separate early-morning house fires in the Sacramento area. That's prompted authorities to warn people about winter fire hazards.

In Citrus Heights this morning, an elderly woman died in a house fire on the 7200 block of Sunrise Boulevard. Yesterday, two children died in a fire at a home in the Meadowview area.

Chris Harvey is with the Sacramento Fire Department.

"It's pretty unusual to have them back-to-back like that," says Harvey. "But we do see an increase in house fires in the winter."

The increase is attributed to cooking fires in kitchens and people not paying attention to lit candles.

Another cause is home heating equipment. Michelle Eidam with the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District says that was the case in this morning's fatal fire in Citrus Heights.

"The cause of the fire, it was found to have started near her furnace on the lower level of the house," says Eidam.

The National Fire Protection Association says the latest data show home heating equipment was involved in nearly 20 percent of home fire deaths.

This Saturday, Sacramento and Metro firefighters will join the Red Cross and canvas neighborhoods across the county installing smoke alarms in household areas known to have a high number of home fire deaths.

 fire department

Steve Milne

Morning Edition Anchor & Reporter

Steve is the voice of Capital Public Radio News as anchor of Morning Edition and Insight. He covers stories on a wide range of topics including: business, education, real estate, agriculture and music. Steve also produced stories for CapRadio.org.   Read Full Bio