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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - During the months of October through January the sounds of sirens are just about as common as the sounds of holiday cheer.

"In November alone we had 145 fires in the Palmetto region, here locally in the midlands we had 23 fires," said Bill Cronin, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Central South Carolina Chapter.

He says that number is double what they see in their division, which covers six states to the North. Cronin says grease fires are the number one cause of house fires in our area.

"I'd like to speculate maybe we eat a lot of fried food in the southso that could be it, butduring this peak season there are a lot of space heaters, holiday candles and Christmas lights," said Cronin.

Brick Lewis, PublicInformation Officer for the Columbia Fire Department, says plugging in those space heaters can cause a lot of problems.

"We don't recommend them and when we see heat related fires that is typically the cause," saidLewis.

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