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Wood stoves suspected cause of 2 Central Point house fires

Two people were displaced Tuesday night in two separate Central Point structure fires suspected to be caused by wood stoves, the homes' heating mechanisms, according to Jackson County Fire District 3.

Although the homes were not destroyed, the residents had to find other places to sleep primarily due to the loss of their wood stoves in the fires, said District 3 Battalion Chief Greg Winfrey.

One blaze began in a single-wide mobile home at about 4:30 p.m. in the 400 block of Wilson Road, destroying a portion of a wall and floor around the home's wood stove. Firefighters extinguished the blaze in about 10 minutes, but the fire had already caused about $5,000 in damage, Winfrey said.

The other fire began close to 6 p.m. in a two-story farm house in the 5100 block of Upton Road. The fire began around the home's wood stove on the second floor, causing about $40,000 to $50,000 in damage to the second floor, Winfrey said. The fire took firefighters about 30 minutes to put out.

The fires remain under investigation, but they are believed to be caused by the wood stoves, Winfrey said.

Winfrey said there are precautions residents can take to avoid wood stove fires, including ensuring that the stoves are installed properly.

He recommended regular maintenance and cleaning of the stoves, especially the pipes.

"When you clean the stove pipes, make sure the joints are reconnected properly," Winfrey said.

Other precautions include burning dry, untreated wood rather than plywood, which has glue in it that can make fires burn hotter, Winfrey said.

Also, keep a working smoke detector at home and a fire extinguisher.

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 776-4459 or e-mail pachen@mailtribune.com.