22 fire fatalities in Kentucky since start of 2013

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) -While most of the fire fatality cases are different, the state fire marshal says often times they have something in common.

"What we do know is that when it comes to fire fatalities, the common thread is the lack of a working smoke detector," says William Swope, state fire marshal.

It was early January, when the Wilfong family of Pike County died inside their home while asleep. There were five fire victims and four of them were children.

On March 9th, seven people, including five children were killed in a house fire in Knox County.

Now the latest in Wayne County, where three people died in a home, including a child late Thursday night.

"Compared to last year at this time, we had four. The year before we had 21. So it goes up and down but I think this year because we had so many, so close together and it's involved multiple loss of life, that is has brought more attention to the situation," says Swope.

Swope says unfortunately there is always a spike in fire deaths during the winter months.

"This is obviously a tough and hard time and our hearts go out to the communities who have lost families to this. We just would like for people to raise their awareness level," Swope says.

If you don't have a working smoke detector or want to get information about the options, the state fire marshal encourages you to contact your local fire department.

In 2012, 63 people in Kentucky died in house fires.

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