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Officials note spike in fires

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 11:14 a.m. CDT

DES MOINES (AP) — The Des Moines Fire Department says there has been a surge in fires in the past week, including eight in one 24-hour period.

The department reported Monday that the fires could be tied to extremely cold temperatures that have settled over central Iowa.

The city’s fires included 15 in homes, one in a business and two in vehicles.

The department says 11 of the fires appear related to heating appliances and furnaces. Officials recommend that people have all heating appliances and fireplaces inspected annually and to ensure space heaters have a 3-foot clearance and are plugged directly into an outlet.

People also shouldn’t leave candles or cooking food unattended.