Unusual summer spike in house, apartments fires

Posted on: 4:23 pm, September 4, 2013, by , updated on: 09:29am, September 5, 2013

It’s been a hotter than normal summer for firefighters in the Quad Cities, a spike in temperatures has meant an unusual spike in house and apartment fires.

“It’s definitely been a busy three, four weeks”, said Moline Fire Inspector Mick Dochterman. “Our number of fires have increased, we’re above our average”, he said.

Just in the past seven days, the Red Cross responded to help families in ten different house and apartment fires in the metro area.

“Most years, we had two to three fires a week. Since last week, we’ve had at least one a day, if not two a day”, said Betsy Pratt with the Red Cross.

It’s been a busy year, as well. From July 2012 to the end of June 2013, the number of families helped by the Red Cross due to a fire is up 60 percent.

“Our budget cycle goes July to June. If we continue this cycle, we could really be stretching our resources throughout the year”, Pratt said.

The cause of the fires vary, none have been deemed suspicious.

“It’s cyclical. No pattern. It’s just random”, Dochterman said. “The number one cause of fires is human error”.

Several families have been displaced by recent fires, many put up in local motels, some stay with family.

“It feels odd”, said Pratt. “Because it’s not fire season”.