Fire kills 5 in Conn., reminding residents about holiday safety - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Fire kills 5 in Conn., reminding residents about holiday safety

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STAMFORD, Conn. (WKOW) -- The mayor of Stamford, Connecticut says the cause of a Christmas Day fire that killed three children and their grandparents was related to a fireplace.

Foul play has been ruled out. Preliminary information shows it was just a tragic accident.

According to investigators, the fire that destroyed the home was reportedly started by the embers of yule logs. The homeowner had collected embers from the fireplace and put them in a bucket. Shortly after, the home went up in flames. Officials say the fire was an accident caused by hot fireplace embers that were discarded near a mudroom on the first floor of the house.

The homeowner and her male acquaintance were able to escape. Her parents, who were visiting for the holidays, and her three daughters were killed. Officials say the home didn't have working smoke detectors.

Here in Madison, a spokesperson from the fire department says crews responded to just one report of a fire over the holiday weekend that was caused by decorations. Lori Wirth says the city is fortunate because in the past four years, Madison has seen only one fire fatality.

But it's still important to remember safety with your decorations this holiday season.

"The further into the holiday season you get typically the more dried out a Christmas tree gets, and that's when you can have the potential for fires in the house," says Wirth.

She says you should keep your tree well-watered, and check any lights or electrical wiring for issues.

Starting January 3rd, streets crews will collect old trees from the curb. They'll also come around again on the 17th.

If you don't want to wait, you can drop off your tree at the city's waste sites, where they'll also be collecting old lights to recycle.

For more information visit the city's website.

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