"Cooking home fires and the heating fires seem to be the 2 top issues right now," said Dwayne Garriss, Georgia State Fire Marshall.
Since the beginning of the year, Georgia has experienced 16 reported fire fatalities. Bainbridge, Nashville, and now Donalsonville are the most recent cities with fires that took lives. The Georgia Fire Marshall's Office says this is right with the average, but admits it should be lower.
"Our 19 year average is 16 so we just hit our average, but yes, it's high." continues Garriss.
The most fire deaths Georgia has experienced was 31 in 1996 and 23 in 2002. The first reported fire fatality this year came on Jan 3rd. According to the Fire Marshall, it's best to always let the firefighters handle the fire.
"Do not go back in, we have had some that individuals were out of the home, gone back in and never came back out," warns Garriss.
Thursday's fire in Donalsonville was ruled incidental and caused by a space heater.
"Firefighters say it's all too common to see preventable fires like this one which can save many lives."
"Last Thursday, we actually had a couple that was saved by a fire in their home due to a working smoke detector. Make sure your smoke detector batteries are working, we can't emphasize that enough," said Dean King, Donalsonville Fire Captain.