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Man who lost home on Christmas Day hopes people take National Fire Prevention Week seriously

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 5:41 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2021 at 6:46 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - If your home catches fire, you can lose everything in a matter of minutes, including your life.

The U.S. Fire Administration reported more than 354,000 residential fires in 2019, leading to an estimated 1,900 deaths and 7,000 injuries.

It’s something one Cape Girardeau man said changed his family’s life forever.

“It’s taken every bit of 9 months to at least get into another home,” said Jacob Sheren.

He is talking about a fire that destroyed his family’s home on Christmas Day.

“And here we are in October and I’ve only been in my new house for two weeks,” said Sheren.

That should serve as a reminder to take steps now to prevent house fires, according to Cape Girardeau Fire Chief Randy Morris.

“What we like to do is encourage everyone to make sure they have a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm in their home,” said Morris.

The most common places for those detectors are in hallways and bedrooms.

Smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide ALARMS have distinct differences in the number of beeps.

“So, you’ll hear a beep, beep, beep for a smoke alarm and a beep beep beep beep for carbon monoxide alarms,” said Morris.

Jacob said he’s making sure those detectors in his new home are working properly.

“If you have a thought in your mind something is wrong, somethings wrong. I knew when I woke up that morning that something was wrong with my heater and with it being Christmas Day, I couldn’t get ahold of anybody, but I did leave it on, and I shouldn’t have left it on. Leaving it on cost me my house and a lot of things that I could never replace like from my kid’s past or my past that’s gone forever,” said Sheren.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, cooking incidents sparked half of all house fires in 2019, followed by heating unit malfunctions.

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