BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Ten people were killed in Baltimore City in December due to house fires.
Fire officials are taking to the streets to try and stop the troubling trend before another fire breaks out.
There were 16 fire deaths total in 2016. The bulk of them happened at the very end of the year.
Flames shot out the windows of a Canton row home. A man trapped inside was killed.
Then, neighbors were heart-broken a ten-year-old boy and his one-year-old sister died when a fire ignited in their southwest Baltimore home.
“It really crushed my heart when this happened,” says Nicole Winchester, neighbor to the two children who lived on Dorton Court.
“The whole second floor went up in a blaze.” says Bridgett Flores, neighbor to the Ramirez family.
And a community shaken as two young brothers, just three-years-old and nine months old, lost their lives in an east Baltimore fire.
“I just found out and it’s crushing because the little boy always played with my kids,” says neighbor Ashley Bates.
Baltimore was on track for a low number of fire deaths up until December.
“We had one of the lowest number of fatalties through eleven months of the calendar year,” said Baltimore City Fire Chief Niles Ford.
Over a just 16-day period in December, there were ten fire fatalities across the city.
“We don’t want 2017 to be a repeat of 2016. Our fire department is ready, they’re equipped. They want to help you,” said Mayor Catherine Pugh.
This past weekend, fire officials went door- to-door checking homes for possible safety hazards and helping residents install smoke alarms if they didn’t have them.
Fire investigators say they haven’t found a common cause for the surge of fires in December.
“Unfortunately we cannot find any pattern that has created this situation. It’s very unusual. It’s not something that normally happens,” said Chief Roman Clark of Baltimore City Fire.
Now they hope more awareness will mean more lives saved. City residents can call 311 if they don’t have a working smoke detector in their house and firefighters will come install it.
18 people were killed in fatal fires in Baltimore city in 2015.