Galena Firefighters See Increase in Structure Fires

Published 03/05 2014 09:28PM

Updated 03/05 2014 10:16PM

GALENA, KS.--- Galena firefighters have now responded to seven structure fires since December. They say more fires happen in the winter months, but still, it's not common to have that many structure fires in such a short time frame. Crews responded to the seventh fire just after six this morning at 7948 Watermelon Lane in the Skippy Scott addition of Galena.

"When our driver first arrived, when our first truck got there, there was fire coming out a window and out one level of the house," said Bill Hall, Galena Fire Chief.  

Fire Chief Bill Hall says a Galena family's home caught fire while they were sleeping early this morning.

"Thank goodness they were awakened by the fire," said Chief Hall. 

The home owners told Hall the blaze was caused by electrical equipment.

"According to the owners, the fire started around the dryer, and they were drying clothes," said Chief Hall. 

Of the seven structure fires in Galena since December, this is the third officials believe was caused by a dryer. Hall says in this incident, the residents woke up when they heard the crackling sound of the fire and escaped without injury through their bedroom window.

"They were inside in the bed, and they were just very fortunate to get out," said Chief Hall. 

Firefighters were able to salvage many of the resident's belongings, but the house will need to be rebuilt.

"The house can be rebuilt. Anytime you have a fire, not only do you have a structural damage, but you have heat and smoke throughout the house and that's what they had," said Chief Hall. 

Hall says crews don't look forward to calls like this, especially responding to so many in such a short period of time.

"In this area, we're so small as far as the town, that generally when we go to a fire we know the people personally, or relatives, and we feel like we're part of their family," said Chief Hall. 

The chief says to prevent fires, it's important for every room to have a fire detector. He says never leave your dryer on while you're sleeping or not at home.

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