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Spike in fires during winter months has fire officials in Northeast Ohio looking at common causes

Two South Euclid homes hit by fire in two days
Posted at 6:48 AM, Feb 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-08 06:50:56-05

A spike in northeast Ohio winter fires, thus far in 2018, have fire safety officials pointing to the misuse of space heaters and extension cords.

Fires broke out at two homes on Verona Road in South Euclid, in just a two-day period.

Fortunately, there were no injuries, but the incidents had South Euclid Fire Safety Officer Scott Sebastian issuing a warning.

Sebastian said both homes did not have working smoke detectors and showed evidence of overloaded extension cords.

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Sebastian said the spike in winter fires is due in part to space heaters and extension cords that are not being used correctly.

"We've had multiple deaths in Cleveland, we had multiple deaths in Ohio already, within the last three weeks," said Sebastian.

"Just in our community alone, we've had three winter fires in 2018."

"It's very important to do fire drills inside of your home during the day, and also at night time."

Sebastian said it's critical a minimum ten-foot radius is maintained around any heating element, and that families have a fire safety escape plan.

Sebastian said the misuse of cheater plugs, which turn two prong outlets into three-prong outlets, is also a common issue.

The cause of both fires on Verona Road are still under investigation.