By Max Hrenda
It’s no secret to Carter County’s law enforcement and emergency management personnel that this time of year can be especially bad for house fires.
On Oct. 27, Tracy Parsons died after smoke from a kitchen fire filled her house at 1427 Riverview Drive as she slept; on Nov. 8, a Stoney Creek man was killed after a fire consumed his doublewide; on Nov. 20, a Happy Valley Elementary teacher was displaced after her home and her SUV were caught in a blaze; and then, two days later, a family in Tiger Creek lost almost everything after their home was lost to fire.
Dawn Day, emergency service manager for the American Red Cross’ Northeast Tennessee chapter, said Carter County has not been alone in its recent struggles against house fires.
“It has, for sure, increased … everywhere, not just Carter County,” Day said. “We have 12 counties. We have had more fires lately than we have had.”
Day’s chapter covers the 12-county area from Johnson County to Grainger County. Though she has noticed a spike in the number of house fires in her area, she added that there was no clear indication as to why.