Peoria Fire Department pushes safety as fires are up 15% in 2021

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 6:21 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 NEWS) - Since Thanksgiving, Peoria firefighters have responded to six residential fires, and just in the past 24 hours alone, they’ve battled three fires- two homes and a garage.

Peoria Fire Chief Jim Bachman said they are seeing a huge increase in fires around the River City this year.

Structure fires jumped 15% over the last year, from 259 in 2020 to 297 between January and Sept. 29 in 2021.

As far as arsons, they make up 18% of structure fires this year compared to 34% of structure fires reported in 2020.

“It’s a much busier year than it has been it at least probably the past ten years,” Bachman said.

“Lately, and even around this time, it’s been a variety of reasons. They don’t appear to be linked for the most part,” he added.

“As far as what’s driving the spike in fires this year, Bachman points to common causes, like cooking fires and electrical issues.

Wednesday, Peoria Fire Department kicked off their “Keep The Wreath Red” campaign to bring awareness to fire safety during the holidays.

Fire Prevention Division Chief Nate Rice said with the recent spikes in fires around the city, he hopes people take action to prevent them, like keeping space heaters three feet away from flammable materials and to not to leave cooking food unattended.

“It’s just a reminder to them to be aware of things in their homes and their businesses to be safe about,” Rice said.

Bachman said the department goes door-to-door to with flyers and talking with neighbors about fire safety.

And as far as arsons, Bachman said resident can call their arson hotline.

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