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Fire Safety at Christmas


Be careful during the holidays. That was the reminder Tuesday from the Davenport Fire Department during its annual demonstration of how quickly our little mistakes at this time of year can turn deadly.

Firefighters lit a Christmas tree on fire in an abandoned home to show how fast it can become engulfed, and begin sending flames into the rest of the house.

Public Education Officer, Lieutenant Zach Soliz, says people forget about the possible hazards from year to year. 

"We box those things up at the end of the year. We don't get them out again until we buy a tree and start putting up our displays. It's so quick that when we do it we're not thinking about those safety considerations and this is the time of year we really need to worry about that."

Soliz says natural trees should be watered every day, keep trees at a safe distance from fireplaces and heating vents, check electrical cords to make sure they're not worn or damaged, and never leave the room if a candle is burning.

"Hopefully a smoke alarm will alert us ahead of time - if that's the case we need to leave and get everyone else out of the house then call 911. Everything else inside your house is replaceable - we're not . It's just a Christmas tree - just leave it behind."

For the demonstration, he used a tree that had not been watered in a week, and after the fire started, it took 20 seconds for a smoke alarm to go off. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.