Lewis County has in the last few years experienced what one fire official called an unusually high number of fire-related deaths.
Eleven people died in Lewis County house fires between 2015, 2016 and 2017, and among them there were three triple-fatality fires, bucking a trend that says most fatal fires result in one death.
“It says somewhere or other we’re not reaching our audience with the messages that we have,” said Rick Mack, Assistant Fire Chief with Riverside Fire Authority.
Mack, who met with the Chronicle alongside other local fire experts and first responders to talk about safety practices, said such sobering statistics are a motivator to put fire-related information immediately into the public’s hands.
“Fire fatalities in Lewis County experienced in the last several years has been eye-opening. It has caused me to want to get out and engage and talk about what causes fires, what we can do to protect our families and our homes where we’re supposed to feel safest,” he said, noting that the common denominator in fatal fires in the past three years has been non-functional smoke detectors and a lack of a home escape plan.