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Red Cross Reports Increased Fire Response in Emporia

Heating sources are the leading cause of cold-weather fires but there are steps everyone can take to reduce the risk.

The Kansas Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross has provided assistance to more than 12 people after four fires in Emporia since December 9.

Red Cross volunteers from Emporia responded and distributed assistance based on national guidelines to meet the immediate needs of shelter, food, and clothing for those impacted by disaster.

“We need to remind people to be cautious once the temperatures start to dip,” said Lisa Biggs, Disaster Program Manager. “Heating sources are the leading cause of cold-weather fires but there are steps everyone can take to reduce the risk.”

The Red Cross offers these fire prevention tips:

  • All heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn (paper, matches, bedding, furniture, clothing, carpets, and rugs) at least three feet away from heating equipment.
  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended, and use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace.
  • Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
  • Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, and chimneys inspected annually by a professional, and cleaned if necessary.
  • If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs, or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord.
  • For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information, visit

    The Red Cross relies on volunteers who make it possible to respond to nearly 70,000 disasters nationwide every year, most of them home and apartment fires. Find out about volunteer needs in Emporia by visiting or calling 620-342-4211.

    The Red Cross depends on the generous support of residents to be ready to respond and help our neighbors who are affected by home fires. You can help provide relief from disasters like home fires by making a tax-deductible donation today. To make a financial donation please visit, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.