Fire concerns rise as cold weather in SWLA continues

Updated: Feb. 12, 2021 at 7:43 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A home in Lake Charles on the corner of Hodges and Mill Street caught fire this afternoon.

Lake Charles District Chief, Terence Thomas says luckily the home was vacant, but it could be a sign of things to come for local firefighters.

“It was contained to the back part of the house, and it took about five minutes to put out. We usually have a lot of calls when it’s cold, but we’re hoping not to get many calls.”

The cause of the fire was due to a water heater, but typically chimney fires and space heater fires keep them on the move when it gets cold.

In fact, the consumer safety product commission says there are about 1,100 fires a year due to space heaters and about 50 deaths. That’s why Thomas is warning residents to take action now.

“Clean your heaters, and make sure your heaters are clean - shouldn’t have any problems.”

He says firefighters don’t look forward to the winter months especially when it reaches temperatures like the ones we’re expecting over the next few days.

“When it’s cold, it makes it harder to put out the fire. They have problems getting water sometimes, and the guys get colder faster. And things like that.”

Fire investigators say they’ve found that more than half of all fire deaths are caused by faulty heating equipment.

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