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Alabama Fire Deaths Soaring, No One Factor To Blame

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - It's bad enough when even one person is lost in a house fire. But so far this year, Alabama has recorded at least 55 deaths as a result of fire. Fire officials say it is an unusually high number, and there's apparently no one factor to blame. As a result, firefighters say the best thing you can do is plan to get out alive.

There was the trailer fire near Athens. The woman who lived here burned so severely, she died just a few days later. The home on Snake Road in Limestone County where an elderly woman and her daughter perished. The apartment in Decatur where two young children were trapped, and died.

Five fire deaths this year in just Morgan and Limestone counties. If you include our entire coverage area, more than a dozen have died. Decatur firefighters, keenly aware of the numbers, but at a loss to explain them.

"Obviously the numbers don't lie. When people are careless and certain other factors are involved, it's hard to, it all goes to, prevention goes back to each individual household," says Decatur Fire Marshal Jason Jones.

The U.S. Fire Administration reports more than 12-hundred fire deaths in the U.S. so far this year, with Alabama one of a dozen states with an unusually high number of fatalities. Jones says the fact is most house fires can be prevented.

Jones says so many people that he meets are just of the mindset that nothing like that would ever happen in their home, or to them, but he says it does. And he says unless you take seriously the threat or the potential for that type of disaster, you run the risk of becomming another statastic.

Jones tells us most fire deaths in this area occur during the colder months and are related to the methods people take to stay warm. During the warmer months, Jones tells us most fire deaths are related to electrical issues, carelessness and drug use.