CORRECTION: This article initially said the fires were only in Columbia, but the numbers actually include fires throughout Boone County.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Boone County is up to 21 house fires over the past month after three blazes broke out in just two days.
Fire departments in Boone County have been called to 138 house fires this year with no common cause. The three fires this week were caused by an electric scooter, an artificial Christmas tree and a kitchen fire.
House fires are hard to predict as the county often experiences around 300 fires a year, including non-house fires. Those fires range from small fires that are out before the fire department gets there, to a full-blown fire.
"We have seen patterns this time of the year," Columbia Assistant Fire Chief Brad Fraizer said. "We're doing different things. We're for example cooking more, got holiday decorations up, we're playing with new toys and new things. So there are different behaviors in things that we're doing that can sometimes lead to fires."
Decorations, cooking and space heaters are being used for the first time of the year in the fall and winter months.
"We recommend basic safety tips," Fraizer said. "Never leave your cooking unattended. If you are cooking and you have long sleeves on, roll those sleeves up so do you don't any of your clothing in an open flame. If you're using candles for the holidays make sure you keep anything that's flammable at least 12 inches away from the candle and don't leave candles unattended either."
The Columbia Fire Department recommends watering real Christmas trees every day to keep them from drying out and making sure electrical cords and lights used for decoration are not frayed and are in good working conditions.