Launch of Savannah Fire’s ‘Keep the Wreath Green’ campaign met with first incident

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – At about 1:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, a homeowner was injured and their pet died in a house fire on East 62nd Street in Savannah.

It marked the first incident in Savannah Fire Rescue’s holiday fire safety initiative “Keep the Wreath Green,” which launched earlier in the day.

Savannah Fire crews were able to rescue a dog inside of the home and revived it with oxygen, but unfortunately, they say a cat died in the fire.

Officials say the fire started in the kitchen but it wasn’t immediately clear what caused it.

Savannah Fire says last year, there were 22 structure fires in Savannah, down from 23 in 2017 and 28 in 2016.

In an effort to continue that decline, Savannah Fire is using a big, green visual reminder to practice fire safety steps. For every fire that occurs, the department will be adding a red light to wreath hanging outside of their headquarters on East Oglethorpe Avenue.

“Things that we see all the time, people don’t recognize as a hazard, such as you’re cooking, you’re distracted,” said Cheryl Mason, Deputy Fire Marshal.

Mason advises people to stay alert in the kitchen and to use an oven timer. Candles also can be a big fire hazard, so she says don’t leave them unattended.

“And people just don’t realize when they’re using those space heaters how far they need to keep them away from furniture or drapes and things like that,” Mason said. “[Don’t] use them when you’re sleeping or when you’re not at home.”

The department will continue to offer safety advice daily on Facebook and Twitter in hopes of preventing the worst situations.

“You could be displaced and, of course, no one wants to see that at any time of the year, but it’s especially sad at this time of year, the deputy fire marshal said. “They may not have another place to go and it’s just devastating.”

Take a quick read through some of Savannah Fire’s other safety advice ahead of the holidays:

  • Place candles in stable, non-flammable holders
  • Never leave burning candles unattended
  • Use flameless and LED candles for worry-free decorating
  • Keep dishtowels, paper products, pot holders and other flammable items away from stovetops
  • If you have to leave the kitchen, turn off the stovetop
  • Always stand watch over a turkey fryer
  • Completely thaw a turkey before frying
  • Set a timer as a reminder to check food on the stove and in the oven
  • Use turkey fryers outdoors, at least ten feet away from buildings
  • Check manufacturer’s directions for proper turkey fryer oil levels
  • Never use a turkey fryer under an awning or carport

Keep in mind: the department is available to install free smoke detectors in Savannah homes. Simply give Savannah Fire a call at 912-651-6756 to make arrangements.

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