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La Crosse has been on fire, literally

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Fire dept. has been out
every week fighting fires

It’s been a year with a lot of fires so far in La Crosse. Garage fires. House fires. A fire caused by a faulty lamp in a public-housing high rise. 

“What is most concerning to me is that a lot of these fires are preventable” La Crosse fire chief Greg Cleveland said.

Crews have been out every week, so far, fighting a fire in the city, including two with fatalities.

Last week, a fire started between a fireplace and an exterior wall, where a man was safely pulled from his house by neighbors.  Cleveland says two out of five home fires involve a fire place or wood burning stove. 

The chief explained some simple rules to avoid fires – a lot of them involve smoking, mainly smoking in bed, in fact. And then there are the candles.

“First of all, if you have pets in the home, you shouldn’t be using candles,” Cleveland said. “Cats, dogs (they) knock over candles. You never leave a candle unattended.”

Electrical fires have also become more common. One fire this winter was caused by a cell phone charger used to charge an e-cigarette.

Cleveland says some people don’t realize all of the fire dangers in and around their homes. He offers this solution to get educated.

“If anyone’s interested, we can give them a hand with that,” Cleveland said. “No firefighter has ever been killed from a fire that didn’t happen.”

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