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Number of fatal fires in Capital Region on the rise

ALBANY -- It may only be the start of May, but already a dangerous trend. The number of fatal fires is significantly up this year, and officials are sending out a warning.

"The number of fatal fires in the Capital District area is up we had about 12 last year in the Capital District area, we're up to 8 for this year so if we keep going at the current pace we're definitely going to exceed last years numbers," says Fire Safety Consultant Peter Lattanzio.

Lattanzio has investigated fires for years, he's since retired but says even he has not seen this many fatal fires in a long time. The winter has a lot to do with the number of fires, but why people are not getting out in time is something that puzzles him.

"Three rescues, one in the city of Troy, one in Colonie, and one in the city of Rennselaer where the person was confined to a wheelchair and had there not been the proper response by the fire department we probably would have been looking at some more severely injured people or possibly would have died in those incidents."

So now is the time to be proactive. There are several steps that should be taken to prevent tragedy. One, installing a residential sprinkler.

"It adds a whole new level of protection to your house that is going to buy you time in the event of a fire. The sprinkler may not extinguish the fire but what it will do is confine the fire to a room and allow that family time to get everybody out of the house."

Also, do some spring cleaning.

"Clean out the clutter from your house. people accumulate stuff and things have accumulated over the winter, springs here, start getting all of that stuff, purge that stuff out of your house."

The number one thing you want to make sure you do at home with your family is to have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and to have a fire escape plan in place.

 
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