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Williamsport firefighters: 'Check your smoke detectors'

A recent string of fires in Williamsport is prompting residents to stay up to date on fire safety.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The Williamsport Bureau of Fire has been working almost around the clock over the past week and a half. The city of Williamsport has had three two-alarm fires that have left several families homeless in just the last eight days.

"For about a year and a half, we haven't had many fires at all, and we attribute that to our fire prevention program. Unfortunately, over the last week and a half or so, we have had a number of structural fires, and it is keeping us on our toes," said Sam Aungst of the Williamsport Bureau of Fire.

The most recent fire happened Monday around 3 a.m. at a home on Scott Street. Firefighters say the in-home smoke detector probably saved the lives of the folks inside.

"She was sleeping, and her smoke alarm goes off. She gets up, and she responds. She notices smoke and then gets her kids up and gets her kids out and called 911," said Aungst.

Many of the structures that have caught fire recently are older buildings. Several of the fires are still being investigated.

"The wood inside these buildings are 100-plus years old. They've dried out, and that makes them a lot more susceptible to burning quicker and faster," said Aungst.

Firefighters at the Williamsport Bureau of Fire shared some fire safety tips with Newswatch 16.

"The big thing is checking your smoke alarms regularly. We would like folks to do it once a month," said Aungst.

Over the course of the next few Saturdays, firefighters in Williamsport will be going door to door in certain neighborhoods offering free inspections and installations of brand new smoke detectors.

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