ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A new study shows that Albany is worst in the state in the number of severe fires and fires with deaths and injuries.
A Disaster Cycle Services study covering the years from 2007-2012, shows 108 people were injured or killed in Albany. The area covered by the 31701 zip code is worst in the state, with 43 severe fires and 45 injuries and deaths in that time period. The 31707 zip code is second worst in the state, and 31705 is in the top ten.
"For a small town it's a big problem, a very big problem," said Albany Fire Department investigator Tom Wilson.
This year alone, 26 people have already been injured in fire-related incidents. Flint River Red Cross Executive Director Lara Gill says the organization has spent tens of thousands of dollars helping those fire victims and others.
"For the first 6 months of the year," Gill said. "I can tell you that 151 families received assistance from us totaling over $60,000."
Albany Fire Department officials say most of the fires could easily be prevented.
"A lot of unattended cooking fires, we've had several fire where people have left stuff on the stove," said Wilson.
In October, the Red Cross and Albany Fire Department will launch a Home Fire Preparedness Campaign to help lower those startling fire statistics.
Studies show that every day, 6-7 people day in the United States die from house fires. Two thirds of those people are living in homes without smoke detectors.
The zip code 31768 in Moultrie ranks No. 7 in the study.
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