Central Alabama sees uptick in house fires

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – As the temperatures get cooler in the area, fire departments throughout Central Alabama have battled several house fires in recent weeks.

The latest fatal fire happened on Lawley Street in Helena, where a person was burned during a structure fire. Helena Fire reported that person died from their injuries at UAB. The victims name is not being released at this time.

Birmingham Fire was also busy this past week after they battled a massive house fire at 5th Avenue South on Wednesday. Fortunately, no one died or was severely injured from the fire. Captain Bryan Harrell with Birmingham Fire says people should always be prepared.

“If it’s out of sight, out of mind, sometimes people have that kind of mentality, but we want you always to think of fire safety,” Harrell said.

Neighbors who went outside to see what happened say they’ll never forget how high the flames were.

“I was frantic. I was just hoping that no one was inside the home,” neighbor Ebonee Mason said.

Mason says she was at her home on Omega Street when everything happened. She said her family members heard some form of disturbance outside, then a loud boom.

“When I heard the boom, I ran outside and I seen the front porch on fire,” Mason said.

Mason says she along with other neighbors were worried about their homes catching on fire as well.

“The homes are so close and there was vehicles by the fire and I didn’t want anything to get worse than it was.” Mason said.

Mason says they have one smoke detector inside their home. And after Wednesday’s fire, she says they want to emphasize fire safety.

“I just turn everything off when I leave,” Mason said.

Captain Harrell says the department has responded to six fatal fires in the city in 2021. He says the causes can vary from electrical, improper space heater use, even kitchen fires. He says families should always have a safety plan in place. And some of the best ways to stop fires from spreading in a home can be as simple as sleeping with the bedroom door closed.

“Because of the wind, breeze, or the oxygen, you’re feeding the fire. A lot of times, not only does it prevent smoke, but fire spreading,” Harrell said.

Mason says fire safety can impact more than one person’s home.

“You’re risking your own life and other people’s lives as well,” Mason said.

For more fire safety tips, click here.

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