By Marielle Mohs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Chapter of the American Red Cross has responded to 40 house and apartment fires in the first 21 days of the year, averaging two fires a day across the state.

David Schoeneck, a volunteer with the Minnesota Red Cross, says January is one of the busiest months for fires in our state. The fires are caused by various reasons.

“Smoking, or because of food left unattended on the stove, or because there’s a malfunction with the furnace,” Schoeneck said.

(credit: CBS)

The Red Cross responds to these fires by relocating people to new homes, providing food, water, clothing or replacement medicines.

Schoeneck says the best way to stay safe in a house fire this winter is to make sure you have a working smoke detector.

“If they can’t afford one, call us, we will put them on a list and get them smoke alarms and get them installed,” Schoeneck said.

Click here to learn more about the “Sound the Alarm” smoke detector program, or call the Minnesota Red Cross at 612-871-7676.

Marielle Mohs