ANNISTON, Ala. - State fire officials say more Alabamians died this winter because of improper use of heating appliances and other issues.
Spokesman for the Alabama Fire Marshal's Office Steve Holmes tells the Anniston Star that 49 people in the state died in fires between December and February. The number is up from 39 during the time same period in 2012.
Holmes attributes the additional deaths to colder than normal weather and people taking extreme measures to try staying warm.
Spokesman for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Brandon Avila says the poor are disproportionately impacted by winter house fires.
Avila says many low-income households have to resort to different measures to heat their homes. The LIHEAP program budgeted $49 million for heating and cooling costs in Alabama this year.