Investigations Continue Into Recent Rash of Fires

From the Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office

Press Release

East Montgomery County hardest hit , with multiple recent building fires. Other fires scattered throughout Montgomery County.

In the past 7 days, Montgomery County Firefighters have responded to numerous residential and business fires. Many of the fires have been related to the recent cold weather, and some have resulted in injuries. The most severely injured victim, 33 yr old Kevin Salyers of New Caney, remains in serious condition at Hermann Hospital in Houston.

The investigation into the fire that injured Mr. Salyers is continuing. MCFMO Investigators returned to the scene today to continue to excavate and sift through the remains of the home in an effort to determine the cause of the fire. They were assisted at the scene by firefighters with the New Caney Fire Department. Due to his injuries, Investigators have not been able to interview Mr. Salyers as of yet. Neighbors reported the fire when they found him ablaze in the street and saw smoke coming from the home.

Another fire occurred Sunday night on Sweetbeth Court in The Woodlands. A two story brick home was heavily damaged by a fire that started on the first floor while the residents were away. There were no injuries as a result of this fire.

Since the first of the Year, MCFMO Investigators have been called to investigate 31 fires in Montgomery County, with the vast majority of them being fires in single family homes. Careless smoking, space heaters and cooking has led to many of these fires.

Thus far in 2009 there have been 10 reported fire deaths in Texas. Nationwide 60 people have been killed this month in a series of multiple fatality fires compared to only 42 for the entire month of January in 2008. (Source: Significant Multiple-fatality Fires )

In response to this recent series of fires, residents are reminded that all homes must be equipped with working smoke detectors. Smoke detectors should be located in each bedroom, hallway and living rooms and on every level of your home. Smoke detectors must be provided and installed by the landlord in rental homes, however the tenants are responsible for testing and maintaining the detectors, and notifying their landlord if they don’t work. (Texas Property Code Chapter 92 )

Quote – Montgomery County Fire Marshal Jimmy Williams
“Having working smoke detectors in your home is as important as wearing seatbelts and using safety seats for your children when you drive”

Quote – Montgomery County Fire Chief’s Assoc. President Leonard Mikeska
“Homes with natural gas or propane heaters should have at least one carbon monoxide detector on each floor”

In 2008, over 3400 U.S. Citizens were killed by fire, more than all other natural disasters combined.
There were over 17,000 injured, with 84% of the deaths occurring in home fires.

Source: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/statistics/quickstats/index.shtm

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