ST. JOHNSBURY - Local fire departments have been responding to more fires than usual over the past couple of weeks. However, this is a common occurrence during the winter, since a common cause of these fires has been heating systems.
"All of those [furnaces] have to be maintained properly. They need to be cleaned, they need to be checked regularly to make sure that they're operating properly," said St. J Fire Chief Troy Ruggles. "When any one of those is not, it increases the potential for there being a fire." Chief Ruggles suggests that if a fire was to start, residents should not try to put it out themselves, but instead, call 911 for assistance.
Residents can help firefighters by digging out hydrants close to their homes. St. Johnsbury firefighter, Andrew Ruggles, says that "it would save [us] a step because every second counts. If you have a hydrant in your neighborhood, shovel it out so it's accessible from the road for us to connect the hose to in case of a fire."