Extreme cold poses a greater risk for fires

Weather News

We now know the cause of a fire that injured three firefighters and a resident in Orange this week.  

The house went up in flames early Monday.  The house was a total loss.

Read More: One resident, three firefighters injured in Orange house fire

The state Department of Fire Services announced Tuesday that the fire started when someone added combustible liquid to the woodstove in the home.

The State Fire Marshall said you should never put flammable or combustible liquids should in woodstoves. The Chicopee Fire Department confirmed that wood stoves aren’t built to handle these types of liquids. 

“When you add flammable fluids to a wood stove, the vapors ignite and expand very rapidly, and wood stoves aren’t rated for that, so that could cause a significant problem or a significant fire,” said Katie Collins-Kalbaugs of the Chicopee Fire Department.

Homeowners should check the manufacturer instructions to make sure what materials can safely be used inside of their stove.

The West Springfield Fire Department told 22News when temperatures dip into the single digits and below zero, there are more fires.

Fire risk increases partly due to people plugging in space heaters or using candles during power outages.

If you are using a space heater, make sure it’s on a flat, solid surface, and at least three feet away from anything that can burn.

Related: Several residents without a home after fire on Wolcott St. in Springfield

Also, plug them directly into the wall outlet, do not use an extension cord, that’s according to the U.S. Fire Administration. 

And check on the fire hydrant nearest your home, make sure it’s not buried in snow from this past weekend’s storm. 

Clearing snow from the hydrants allows firefighters to find and access them quickly.

In Springfield, the fine for not clearing your hydrants after a storm is $25.

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