Colder weather boosts risk of house fires

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Temperatures are dropping – and the potential for house fires is increasing.

A home near Candelaria and Carlisle in northeast Albuquerque caught fire overnight. According to Albuquerque Fire Rescue, a neighbor called 911 and helped an elderly man to safety.

No injuries were reported, and fire officials did not say what caused the fire.

Crews were also called to southeast Albuquerque, near Zuni and Louisana, where an unoccupied home caught fire. Neighbors said nobody lives in that house.

“We do find that the homeless population has been known to occupy the unoccupied ones as a way to stay warm,” said Lt. Tom Ruiz with AFR.

AFR sees dozens of these fires every year. Ruiz said most of the fires are accidents when the cold settles in.

“When those folks use those unoccupied structures, they’re not utilizing it to burn it down,” Ruiz said. “They’re utilizing it to stay warm.”

KOB 4 is still waiting on updated numbers from this year, but two winters ago Albuquerque reported around 70 of these types of fires that year.

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