Fire Count Normal for Seemingly Overactive Winter

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It seems to many that the images of racing fire trucks and flames coming from a home have been seen more than usual this winter.

"I think it seems more unusual because of the harsh winter we have had."

Battalion Chief Doug Beula of the Wausau Fire Department says they have responded to just an average number of fires this winter.

"The numbers are up slightly from what I can remember," Beula said, "but I think the biggest thing is that the fires that we've had have been pretty memorable due to the size of the residence."

He says some of the emergency calls have actually gone down this winter.

"Every year you're waiting for the story of the ice fisherman in their shanty who dies from carbon monoxide," Beula said, "it might have happened this year, but I haven't hear of it yet."

The fire crews aren't the only ones responding to the fires. The American Red Cross responds to many fire to help displaced families.

"We can provide immediate assistance," Hainy said, "direct financial assistance in the form of food or clothing."

Lora Hainy of the American Red Cross says they are always here to help, but hope the community remembers to take fire safety seriously, and always have a plan.

"How do you evacuate from your house or your apartment," Hainy said, "what is the safest route? Where is the place that you are going to gather."

Like the brave men and women who come to rescue us and our homes, the American Red Cross never takes a day off.

"We take the calls 24/7, 365 days a week," Hainy said.

If you would like to volunteer or donate to the American Red Cross, visit their website: http://www.redcross.org/


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