Kentucky ranks in the top ten states for fire fatalities and officials say the large amount of people who use alternative heating sources in their homes is to blame.
“Unfortunately we are the seventh leading state in the nation when it comes to fire fatalities,” said William Swope, the state fire marshal.
William Swope says one reason the bluegrass state ranks seventh is because more than 50% of Kentuckians use alternative heating sources like space heaters and electrical heaters to heat their homes.
In fact, Thursday’s fire that killed a mother and eight of her children in Muhlenberg County started when an electronic baseboard heater was placed too close to combustible material in a bedroom.
The state fire marshal says the majority of fatal fires occur during the winter months.
“We now have 18 reported deaths for calendar year 2014 which is a number much higher than we would like to see.”
Although not every fire can be prevented, it's extremely important for people to be prepared if a fire happens to break out in their home.
“You need to talk about fire prevention and a fire plan, an exit drill on how to get in and out of the home. All of those things will help lessen the number of fire fatalities we see every year."