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String of CVE Fires Prompt New Concerns

By Staff

The month of December has been busy for firefighters inside CVE.

Since December 5th, at least three separate fires have broken out in village buildings.

At the beginning of the month, fire destroyed or damaged several units in Tilford M. One unit was so severely damaged that it was determined to be unlivable.

One week later, fire tore through a unit in Durham Q causing what one village official said was approximately $250,000 worth of damage.

Just a few days later, fire broke out inside a Grantham D unit.

A few days later, two more emergency calls prompted fire rescue’s response. Smoke was reported in the laundry room of Newport Q, and just before the end of the month a grease fire was reported in a unit at Harwood E.

It is unclear whether anyone was injured in any of these fires. What is clear is that concerns are rising over fire safety.

Older adults are twice as likely to be killed or injured by fires compared to the rest of the population, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires. Safety experts say seniors should always pay attention to what they are doing in the kitchen.

“Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove,” urges the U.S. Fire Administration. “If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly. Remain in the home while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.”

During a ten-year period ending in 2017, over 12,000 Americans age 65 or over were killed by fire, according to the AARP. Poor eyesight, hearing loss, arthritis, dementia and the side effects of medication are among the factors that can make it more difficult for a person to react to a fire, officials say.

Older homes are more likely to catch fire from electrical causes and may not have the capacity to safely handle newer appliances. But personal behavior also increases a senior’s fire risk. Smokers are seven times more likely than nonsmokers to be fire victims. Smoking materials are the number one cause of home fires that kill seniors, reports the Fire Department of New York, which has a special program to educate seniors to fire safety.

The exact causes of the fires in the Village remains unclear. Fire officials will determine whether human error or mechanical malfunctions are to blame.

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