NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The cold weather has brought with it multiple house fires and even an explosion. The State Fire Marshal’s Office has now rolled out a new initiative to keep people safe before they even move into their homes.
Between Wednesday, Jan. 11 and Friday, Jan. 13, multiple people were left without their homes after several fires across Middle Tennessee.
“Within seconds, I heard pounding on our door, yelling, screaming,” said Kelsey Jenison, who lived at an Antioch townhome complex that caught fire around 2:30 a.m. on Friday. “As we were leaving, I started smelling the smoke.”
That blaze along Lennox Creekside Drive in Antioch left three units were destroyed.
“Three floors of fire bellowing out,” described Kendra Looney with the Nashville Fire Department.
First responders reported someone had jumped out from the balcony to escape the fire.
Then, over in Wilson County, two people were left in critical condition after a fire broke out in a Watertown home around 4 a.m. Friday.
This news comes after an explosion was caught on camera as a Shelbyville house caught on fire Wednesday morning.
The fire started in the family’s backyard, but an 11-year-old saw flames outside her bedroom window, leading her to alert her family. The explosion is believed to be from a propane tank left outside.
“During wintertime, fire deaths historically have increased by 75%,” said Kevin Walters with the State Fire Marshal’s Office. “The cold weather increased the risk of home fires because people are going to be using sources that they have in their homes for heat, and unfortunately, this creates a greater risk for homeowners.”
New information from the State Fire Marshal shows 89 people died in fires in 2022 in the state of Tennessee. As we enter the new year, fires continue to be a cause for concern.
The cause of all three fires is still under official investigation.
“Cooking is typically the number one cause of home fires, people are going to be staying in because it’s colder out, and they’re going to be making food at home, which is one of the reasons why we want to remind Tennesseans that if they’re in the kitchen to stand by their pan, don’t be distracted in the kitchen,” said Walters.
This week, the department rolled out a new initiative, focused on partnering with home inspectors and realtors to push home fire safety, especially in new homes.
“Fires spread faster than they did 40 and 50 years ago, because of the change in building material and floor plans in modern homes,” Walters explained. “So, a modern home is going to have an open floor plan, so if there is a fire in that home, there aren’t the kind of barriers that once existed between a home resident and the flames and the toxic smoke.”