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 In recent months, we have seen an increase of fires throughout the Ohio Valley; and according to Chief Larry Helms of the Wheeling Fire Department part of the problem is the coming weather change, but there’s more behind it than just that.

With Monday morning’s fatal fire 7News wanted to figure out why we’ve seen this increase as well as what steps can be taken in order to avoid such fires. So, we spoke with Chief Helms involving the fires and he told us the reasons behind these fires can be attributed to improper use of heating equipment, outside burning that gets too out of control, but Helms said the biggest cause is alternative means of heat being used incorrectly.

“With alternative sources of heat, you have to make sure not only there’s a fire hazard, but there’s CO hazards too,” Chief Helms told 7News Tuesday. “Make sure you’re using things as the manufacturer recommended, as an type of heater.”

There are steps you can take in order to avoid these types of fires. Helms recommends keeping any flammable objects at least three feet away from any heat source, avoid overloading your electrical units, while deep-frying turkeys for Thanksgiving use the fryers outside in an open area, and just be sure to think about what you are doing and proceed to do it in the most safe way.

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