- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Fire deaths are up slightly this year in Alabama over 2013.

The state fire marshal’s office says 86 people have died in fires so far this year in the state. That’s four more fatalities than during the same period last year.

Fire Marshal Ed Paulk says the worst month for fire deaths so far in 2014 was January, when 28 people died in house fires. The state experienced an unsual mix of bitterly cold weather and snow that month.

Paulk says many fires are started by the improper use of ovens and heaters.

Fires are also more common this year partly because of Christmas trees. Some trees have been up since Thanksgiving and are already dried out and very flammable.

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