Chief urges fire safety as cold sets in
by Shaka S. Lias
Dec 07, 2010 | 1290 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cartersville Fire Chief Scott Carter said a fire set last week at the vacant Gold Kist warehouse was intentionally set and an investigation is ongoing.

"It's a difficult case to follow up on because it's an abandoned facility, but we're doing everything possible," Carter said.

He said since the building has been vacant for the past five years, the location has seen several small fires. He said the warehouse is targeted because it's an unoccupied area that people don't check on often.

Carter said that patrol has been stepped up in the area in an effort to prevent more fires.

He said another combination of the fires is weather-related and the economic downturn. Because of the economic downtown, more businesses are closing, leaving the buildings vacant.

"You find more homeless that will attempt to occupy [the vacant buildings]," Carter said.

However, he said Cartersville hasn't seen an increase in the number of homeless people like larger cities.

The winter months also see a spike in the number of residential fires. Carter said the increase occurs because people begin using heaters and fireplaces to keep their homes warm, adding that fire safety is key this time of year.

With space heaters he advises residents follow safety guidelines and keep the area surrounding the heater clear. He advises the same thing with kerosene heaters, which should never be filled inside the house.

With fireplaces, Carter said chimneys and flues should be clean and maintained.

According to Carter, carbon monoxide is a much bigger problem.

"I recommend that everyone has a carbon monoxide detector in addition to a smoke detector in their homes," he said.

For more fire safety tips, visit www.cityofcartersville.org.