Firefighters Offer Winter Safety Tips - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Firefighters Offer Winter Safety Tips

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It was a December fire in London Village that killed a 56-year-old Peggy Klinger and 11-year-old Andromeda Brown. A memorial filled with teddy bears symbolizes lives lost. (Photo: WBOC) It was a December fire in London Village that killed a 56-year-old Peggy Klinger and 11-year-old Andromeda Brown. A memorial filled with teddy bears symbolizes lives lost. (Photo: WBOC)

MAGNOLIA, Del. - Yellow tape still remains at the site of a deadly fire in Magnolia.

"We did everything we possible could to get it out. When we left the station we could actually see the glow in the sky from that fire," said Charles Dougherty, Vice President and firefighter with the Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company.

It was a December fire in London Village that killed a 56-year-old Peggy Klinger and 11-year-old Andromeda Brown. A memorial filled with teddy bears symbolizes lives lost.

"At that fire all you could hear was fire. We didn't hear any smoke detectors," said Dougherty.

According to the Delaware Fire Marshal's office, the exact cause of that fire is still under investigation.

Firefighters say smoke detectors can help save lives.

"It's something that's easily forgotten," said Earle Dempsey, President of the Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company.

Dempsey says often times, people will forget about checking smoke detectors if they're out of sight.

"Last year in the state of Delaware we experienced only two fire deaths, which was the lowest recorded of any year since 1970. However, this year we are at least more than double that. I think part of that is the result of forgotten smoke detectors," said Dempsey.

Since Oct. 1, there have been 36 fires in Kent County, said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshall Scott Bullock.

Bullock says 17 of those fires have been accidental, 11 have been arson, seven are still under investigation. One fire has been classified as a weapons or explosive investigation.

Bullock says from Nov. 1 to Dec. 28, 21 fires were being investigated in Kent County - a little low for this time of year, he says.

Bullock says that number could increase once severe winter weather hits. He says many people will start using space heaters, or improvised devices, like turning on heat from a stove to warm a house. Those devices, he says, could potentially start a fire.

Just this week, firefighters responded to a fire in Camden that damaged a home along Peachtree Run.

Magnolia firefighters also responded to a fire along Chestnut Ridge Drive.

No one was injured.

Joe Cessna lives a few houses down. He says he does everything he can to keep his family safe and having a working smoke alarm is one of them.

"We usually pick a date, maybe an anniversary or a birthday or a date that you remember and we change the batteries every year," said Cessna.

Firefighters with the Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company say homeowners can stop by a fire house to get a free smoke detector.

"We have a wakeup Delaware program that is a grant-funded program that offers each volunteer fire company a supply of smoke detectors and spare batteries that are available to any resident who needs them," said Dempsey.

Smoke detectors aren't the only thing that can keep you safe.

"Be safe in the kitchen, have your fire extinguishers where they need to be, make sure they're charged and properly working," said Dougherty.

Dougherty says fire extinguishers need to be placed in garages, kitchens and laundry rooms.

"A lot of times lent will get stuck in the vent of dryers and that can actually catch on fire inside of the wall," said Dougherty.

Dougherty says he hopes this advice can help prevent a tragedy in your home. 

 

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