State Fire Marshal says 44 people have died in fires so far in 2 - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

State Fire Marshal says 44 people have died in fires so far in 2014

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Crews on the scene of a fatal fire in Titusville in Birmingham Feb. 5. Source: WBRC Crews on the scene of a fatal fire in Titusville in Birmingham Feb. 5. Source: WBRC
MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) -

Officials say this year's cold weather has played a role in a dangerous trend across Alabama.

State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk says 44 people have died due to fires. The deaths have prompted Paulk to remind residents to think about fire safety while staying warm.

He says to make sure you get smoke detectors or make sure the ones you have work. He also reminds residents never to leave a space heater on while sleeping and to never leave them unattended. They are safest when they are at least three feet away from anything that could catch fire.

Paulk says if you're cold when you go to bed, layer up with blankets. He strongly advises against using a portable heating source or a fireplace to keep you warm.

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