Saturday, Feb. 3 and Sunday, Feb. 4 were busy for the Paris Fire Department, with firefighters responding to three different fires over the weekend.
Paris Fire Department Fire Chief Chad Crampton said the first fire, at 644 E. Court St. Apt. 38, came into dispatch at 10:31 in the morning Saturday. That fire, still under investigation, looks accidental and might have started around the top of the stove, Crampton said.
“People need to keep their stoves clear of anything,” he said. “Don’t put groceries on top. Don’t put boxed items. Keep your stovetops clear.”
Crampton said that no one was home at the time of that fire. A cat and a dog’s lives were saved, thanks to help from Horizon EMS, who administered oxygen to the animals.
With that fire, smoke was visible from the building’s soffit and roofline. Firefighters made entry into the apartment and found the fire in the kitchen area.
In the second fire, PFD was dispatched at 5:05 a.m. Sunday to 703 Alexander St., with heavy fire showing on the west side: the rear of the building.
The fire marshal was on location at that structure, a single-family two-story home, Monday morning, talking with the homeowner.
Earlier that morning, Crampton said he believed that fire started in the basement and his best guess was a space heater, but the fire marshal will be the determining investigator for point of origin and cause.
One firefighter had a minor injury, nothing serious, and a cat and a dog were losses.
A female resident and a juvenile were home at the time; they escaped with no injuries. The blaze left the home uninhabitable.
In the third fire, on Sunday at 10:47 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to 418 E. Union St., for a fire in the bathroom reported by the homeowner. Only minor damage was sustained and localized to that bathroom, with smoke reaching into the attic.
“I believe it was discarded smoking material,” Crampton said, adding it was most likely a cigarette into the trash can.
“If I could say anything, it would be ‘Pay more attention about fire safety, don’t put storage on stovetops,’” Crampton said. “Space heaters we’ve already talked about, don’t leave them unattended, keep stuff three feet away from them.”
“The fire department’s job is fire prevention, so we’re trying to get word out to pay attention to this stuff,” he continued. “We’re not just there to put the fires out.”
Crampton said the department takes its fire prevention job seriously. Homeowners can call the fire station if they want PFD to look at their house, discuss fire safety or do a walk-through with tips.
Any homeowner, especially low income or elderly, who needs smoke detectors is eligible to receive them for free. Applicants must fill out some paperwork, but then the smoke detectors are at no cost and the department will come out and install them.
In rented homes and apartments, the landlord is required to install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and the tenant is required to maintain them.
Crampton added that a fire prevention talk is upcoming at the Paris Public Library, on Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m.