Fire Crews Keeping Busy in New Year

January is one of the most active months for fires.

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Smoke billowed across every section of the state Friday, sending fire crews in all directions.

The American Red Cross crisscrossed the state, helping families grapple with their losses.

"When the family walks up and they've lost pictures and christening gowns, they've lost things that are precious," said Brigette Williams, spokesman for the American Red Cross.

Williams said this winter season is seeing more fires than average.  She said it's mainly because many families are taking risks just to keep warm.

"We've had numerous fireplace fires this year where people have not had their fireplaces inspected. Fireplace looks great but you're not aware of the cracks that are in the chimney," Williams said.

Then it's those space heaters that cause the destruction.  Families fail to keep the area around the heater clear from things that could spark fires.

"We've heard from numerous people. They've been in bed or in another room, and space is warming up bedroom. It catches on bed and you've got a home that's destroyed," Williams said.

Williams said it's important to adopt safe measures to keep warm. 

Your life depends on it.

"In Arkansas, unfortunately, we've had a lot of loss of life and that's what's most concerning," she said.

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