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Springfield House Fires, Fire-Related Injuries Slightly Up in 2014

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KSMU archives
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One of four new red trucks for the Springfield Fire Department./Credit: Amber Carr

The Springfield Fire Department says 2014 brought three percent more house fires and 50 percent more fire-related injuries compared to 2013.

There were 236 house fires in the city last year and 14 people were injured. The department points out that the figures are better than those of three years ago. 2011 brought 280 house fires and 29 fire-related injuries.

Three people died in house fires in Springfield in 2014. In a news release, officials say the deaths include a man in a house fire on Mt. Vernon Street in January, a woman as the result of a suicide in August, and a man who died in a car fire in December. 2012 brought a high in fire deaths, with six.

The Springfield Fire Department says cooking fires have risen significantly and continue to be the leading cause of house fires, climbing 23% since 2012 and 71% over 2013.

“Each year, we try and focus our educational campaigns on a specific problem facing Springfield citizens,” said Assistant Chief of Prevention Randy Villines. “It’s clear that there will be an increased focus on preventing cooking fires in 2015.”

Officials continue to stress the importance of smoke alarms, considering in nearly 40 percent of all Springfield house fires last year the device was either non installed or not working. Anyone in need of a smoke alarm can obtain one for free from the Springfield Fire Department by calling 417-864-1515 or requesting one online.

Careless smoking is the second leading cause of all house fires in Springfield, accounting for 11.5 percent, followed by electrical fires (10.5%), intentionally-set fires (10.5%) and chimney or flue fires (5.5%).

Scott joined KSMU in November 2012. He had previously served five years as news director for KETR-FM, the public radio station in Commerce, Texas. A graduate of Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Scott enjoys producing human-interest stories, among other pieces that educate and engage the community. When not at work, he’s often taking part in outdoor activities, exploring new areas and restaurants, or staying up-to-date with the latest news and information. Scott was born and raised in Shenandoah, Iowa.