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Fire Destroys Sissonville Home

Reported: Jan. 5, 2014 6:30 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 5, 2014 7:38 PM EST
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SISSONVILLE, W.Va. (Katy Brown) -- A Sissonville man was homeless after flames tore through his house this weekend.

"We called the fire department and seen the house was on fire," neighbor Terri Brooks said.

Firefighters initially responded to the call on Shady Ridge Road Saturday afternoon, but were brought back to the scene on Sunday as the flames rekindled.

Crews fought both fires for several hours trying to save what they could.

"The damage is pretty substantial," Dave Gray, with the Sissonville Volunteer Fire Department, said. "Looks like a total loss."

Luckily, no one was injured. However, the cause of the fire remains unknown.

And this latest fire in Sissonville is just the most recent in a string of home fires across the area.

"Fires tend to increase this time of year," Gray said. "With the cold temperatures, the risk of fire increase quite a bit."

Gray credits many of those winter fires to the use of extra heat sources, such as space heaters.

A convenience for many that can be dangerous -- and even deadly.

In fact, a study by the national fire protection association found more than 2,800 fires are caused by space heaters each year. Those fire cause millions of dollars of damage and hundreds of deaths.

And most of these fires happen between December and February, the coldest months of the year.

"It's difficult all the way around. It's difficult for the responders because of the bad weather and the cold temperatures," Gray said.

But it's harder of the fire victims.

"Naturally, they lose property and valuables," Gray said. "Plus they lose their residence."

And as the temperatures continue to drop and many plan to keeping their homes warm, Gray said safety is key.

He said if you plan to use a space heater you should follow the safety guidelines so you can "protect your family and protect your livestock."

Some of those safety tips are:
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from the heater

- Leave doors inside your home open to create a good airflow

- Be sure to unplug the heater when you leave the room or go to bed

- Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working




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