HATTIESBURG,MS (WDAM)- As the temps decrease outside. Dangers can increase inside.
In a three day period, there have been four deaths in two separate early morning house fires in Marion County and Rawl Springs. Although the causes are still undetermined, Hattiesburg Fire Chief, David Webster says the typical cause in cold weather is smaller heating sources.
"It is usually some element tied in with that space heater. You may have something too close and it catches fire, " said Webster.
Webster says there are ways you can protect yourself and prevent such a tragedy.
"Anything with direct heat, a space heater, fire place or a wood stove any of those. Anything that has a higher level of heat for a heating system that you keep combustible materials at least two or three feet away from that source, and really not leave anything unattended," said Webster.
And as you sleep, Webster says extra caution should always be in place.
"Anyone can be caught in a fire in their home at night, and you can not depend on waking up. You have to have some kind of alarm system. That is really something that we want to push heavily is that you need smoke detectors," said Webster.
Anyone in a home not heated properly, Salvation Army Social Service Director, Lawanda Sumpter, says the Center of Hope opens every evening at five.
"We encourage people to please come if your in the cold, or if your home does not have the proper heat. Please know that you can come to the shelter. We will assess their needs and help them in any way that we can," said Webster.
Help, whether from freezing temperatures or a deadly fire, that can save your life.