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Firefighters offer safety advice after so many blazes

Here are some tips on how to avoid these disastrous situations from those who fight the fires.

SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, Pa. — Year round, there are lots of house fires across northeastern and central Pennsylvania, especially during this time of year. So why are there so many?

"We have an enormous amount of wooden structure buildings that are row homes. When it gets up in row houses, it goes from one house to the next house, down the street. It becomes very difficult. There are vacant, dilapidated houses that also don't help us. If there are fires there, it runs the block," said Girardville Fire Chief Frank Zangari.

This happens despite volunteer firefighters often responding to the scene of these fires within minutes of the initial call.

Here are some tips on how to avoid these disastrous situations from those who fight the fires.

"We have enormous smoke alarm programs. Your smoke alarm is only good if they're working. Check your batteries, check your smoke alarms monthly. Check the batteries every six months. Make sure they're working. They make a huge difference in just a small fire in houses being on fire, to the next house and next house," said the chief.

"Some people will wait two, three years to get their furnaces cleaned and serviced. It should be done every year, chimneys, too. Call the company. There are companies out there to get them cleaned. You'll be able to see straight down through it, and it's finished, it's done," said volunteer firefighter Dan Cress.

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