Fire official issues warnings following several house fires

By Eric Nelson

Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 26 2012 10:57 p.m. MST

An apartment building is boarded up after a Christmas Day fire Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012 at 163 South 600 East in Salt Lake City.

Winston Armani, Winston Armani, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — More than a dozen people are displaced after three fires broke out over the holiday weekend, and that is prompting fire officials to remind people about fire safety.

Jasen Asay with the Salt Lake City Fire Department says common sense and basic safety practices can keep everyone safe. Space heaters are a leading cause of fires during this time of year, Asay said.

"Have a space heater at least 3 feet away from any other item or object, and never hang clothing on space heaters to dry, and never leave the room if the space heater is still going," Asay said.

Other safety tips include keeping flammable objects away from the fireplace, never leaving candles unattended, not overloading electrical outlets and keeping fire hydrants near the yard clear of snow in case a fire breaks out.

Seven residents were displaced on Christmas Day by a fire that began in the living room of their home near 1500 North and 2000 West just after 6 p.m. The home suffered smoke damage throughout, and the front room was damaged by flames. The occupants, five adults and two children, were not home at the time of the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Earlier in the day, three apartment units at 163 S. 600 East were damaged by a fire officials believe was cause by a discarded cigarette. Five adults living in the apartment units were displaced during the fire, but no injuries were reported.

And four adults and two children were displaced when a blaze broke out at their home at 2791 S. State after heavy snow caused a tree branch to break. The branch landed on a power line, starting a fire on the roof of the duplex.

Email: enelson@desnews.com

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