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Last weekend there were 15 fires in the Red Cross' central and southeastern Ohio region. The Muskingum Valley Red Cross Executive Director Marlene Henderson says almost $10,000 was spent in assistance on the 82 people whose homes caught fire. Henderson says winter is a peak time for fires and wants to remind people to be cautious.
"Usually this time of year what we see is alternative heat sources," said Henderson. "Unfortunately it got cold very fast and stayed cold. Just be very careful with space heaters and make sure that you leave enough space around them. Don't put them on carpet, up against bedding or anything like that."
Henderson also suggests changing your smoke detectors batteries and testing them every month. She says kitchen fires are one of the main causes of house fires and can easily be prevented.
"If you put something on your stove, don't walk away from it. If you're cooking bacon or warming up grease for french fries, don't start it and walk away from it. Anything can happen just a small splash of grease and the kitchen can go up very quickly."
You can find a complete list of fire prevention tips going online to www.redcross.org