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Gadsden Fire Department sees drastic increase in fire calls

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 7:12 AM CDT
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GADSDEN, Ala. (WBRC) - Last month, the Gadsden Fire Department saw a record number of calls. With fewer calls pertaining to COVID, they’re seeing a spike in calls about fires.

They received over 600 more fire calls this year in comparison to the same time last year.

“Right now we’re about 650 calls above where we should be for this time of year,” says Chief Reed. “We have had the Covid calls go down but our fire responses have increased.”

In the span of a week, they responded to 8 fires. Four of these were considered arson. Chief Reed says people need to understand how irresponsible it is to set a fire.

“It’s extremely dangerous,” says Chief Reed. “One of the fires we had did spread to neighboring houses. One of which was a total loss before our arrival. Yes, arson fires are very dangerous. Not only for the structure they’re in but surrounding houses.”

Gadsden Fire Marshall Jason Talton says several of these fires are still under investigation. They’ve already arrested one person for arson.

“We do prosecute arsonists,” says Talton. “We do go after them. We do investigate. We want to make sure everybody knows that. If you plan on setting a fire get ready to get a visit from us or the police department.”

Talton expects more arrests in connection to the arsons.

They usually see a spike in calls during the holidays and colder months, which is why Chief Reed says it’s extremely important for everyone to practice proper fire safety.

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