Green Bay firefighters take down wreaths marking 9 home fires

A wreath hangs over a Green Bay fire station as a fire safety reminder (WBAY photo)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - There were nine red bulbs on fire station wreaths when Green Bay Metro firefighters took them down Friday, marking nine residential fires during the holiday season.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, firefighters answered five fires caused by unattended cooking, two garage fires, an arson, and one fire whose cause couldn't be determined.

The fire department says hot stoves and ranges are the leading cause of fires nationwide. They warn you should stay in the kitchen while cooking, or turn the burners low or off when you need to step away.

People can't let their guard down after the holidays. Heating equipment is the leading cause of fires from December to February, GBMFD said. They say you should have your furnace and your chimney inspected annually (using a "chimney sweeping log" won't remove soot or creosote, the fire department says).

Make sure there's at least one working smoke detector on every level of your home, from the basement to the attic, and they advise having a carbon monoxide detector as well.