Holiday season structure fires have investigators sounding alarm

    Investigators comb through what is left of the most recent home fire in Savannah (Credit:Robert Catanese)<p>{/p}

    Tuesday night’s structure fire at 39th Street was the ninth in two weeks; five of those fires were started in the kitchen of the homes.

    Savannah Fire Investigator Ronald Harmon said he has been busy looking in to the latest structure fire that displaced three adults and seven children.

    “We have encountered a lot of instances with fires in the kitchen of people’s residences,” said Harmon.

    He said the investigation began soon after the fire was extinguished.

    “We initiated our investigation last night looking into the cause of the fire. We determined the fire originated in the kitchen of the structure,” he said.

    The charred remains were all that were left for investigators to comb through.

    “Attention is most important but secondly, we want to make sure people have fire extinguishers available if something does happen they are able to try and get that under control,” he said.

    Neighbor Michael Blomfield came home from work and saw what was left of his neighbor’s home.

    “We got blessed, that’s for sure. You see that stuff all the time on TV but when you see it up close and personal, it’s pretty scary, I will give it that,” he said.

    Investigators say not getting distracted when cooking could prevent a tragedy.

    “It's really easy to get distracted and walk away if you get a text message or a phone call and forget that you have something on the stove top,” said Harmon.

    Last year, Savannah Fire responded to 181 structure fires, year to date, there have been 200 calls.

    Investigators say they want everyone to be mindful as we head into the winter months as folks are looking to stay warm.

    “Be mindful of using space heaters or using appliances for warmth because that is one thing we want to caution people against,” said Harmon.

    He said if you are using space heater, avoid extension cords or power strips that can cause an electrical fire and never use appliances to heat your home.

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