Fairbury Rural Fire gives update on last week’s house fires, offers space heater safety tips

FAIRBURY, NE – Last week, the Fairbury Rural Fire Department responded to three separate house fires in Fairbury city limits.

One Jan. 20, another on Jan. 23 and again on Jan. 24.

In an interview with News Channel Nebraska and KUTT Radio Monday, Fairbury firefighter Chris Parker confirmed that all three of these fires were the result of faulty space heaters in some way.

“All three of them are related to space heaters,” Parker said,” or alternative fuel heaters. That’s about all I can elaborate on those.”

Parker said last Thursday that space heaters are a common fire hazard this time of year when the temperatures drop.

“It’s not so much the space heaters that are causing the fires, but it’s the wiring,” Parker said, “and the they way they’re being used in the houses.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heaters should be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn. They should also be plugged into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.

It’s always advised to turn off heaters when you leave a room or go to bed. They should always be placed on a solid, flat surface.

In addition, Parker stressed some fire/winter safety tips for patrons who live in rural areas.

“When we have a winter storm, we hope the patrons out there, when they blade open their driveways, they’re thinking, ‘If I have a fire, do I have enough snow moved?'” Parker said.

‘”We also have farmers that have tractors that get plugged in, so the engines are kept warm and they start easier. Are those cords heavy enough? Are those circuits heavy enough to handle that? Double check. Make sure your cords are good.”

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