Perry fire chief looking to prevent house fires

PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Perry’s fire chief says he’s on a mission to remind residents to stay safe when warming up. 

Fire Chief Joel Gray says it’s happening way too much. 

"It is more likely that we will have fires in the winter months than any other time," Gray said. 

Homes…gone…in the blink of an eye, often times from human error. 

Since the year began, 41NBC has reported fires, sometimes fatal, in Monroe, Houston, Bibb, and Laurens County. 

"It’s important leading into the cold months to kind of have a concept of what do I have to heat the house with. What do I have, or do I need to update what needs to be changed out," Gray said. 

He says many times residents can avoid these fires. 

As temperatures begin to plummet, people use heating appliances throughout the house, sometimes too close to items that can catch fire. 


– When using space heaters, keep them away from items that can catch fire such as clothing, drapes, and bed skirts. 

– Never warm up your house using an oven.

– Always make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working.

"It’s not a good practice because it can be a hot door that’s partially open. It can be a hazard to you, a small child, or a pet," Gray said in reference to using ovens to heat up the home. 

He adds not paying attention while cooking is also a big cause of fires. 

"We have so many more distractions in our life now that we put something on to cook, and we get distracted by a cell phone call, an email, and that slips our mind," Gray said. 

He says the key to fire prevention comes down to being aware, being responsible, and being alert and at the end of the day, if a fire does happen, get out of the house because no material possession is worth your life. 

Previous articleShooting victim dropped off at hospital by unknown men
Next articleBibb deputies searching for identity theft, card fraud suspects
(478) 745-4141 ext. 311 Skyler joined the 41 NBC News Team in April 2013. He anchors the news at 6 p.m. and also covers stories going on throughout the day. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb right outside of Atlanta. Before heading to Middle Georgia, Skyler worked as a stage manager for WSB- TV in Atlanta. Skyler graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Multimedia Communication. He went to school initially to be an architect, but one step inside of the student radio station changed everything. While at Georgia Southern, he was exposed to radio and television and became the Program Director of the student radio station and was a part of a team that received a Southeast Regional student Emmy for their work on the program "Inside Georgia Southern Football." Skyler anchored and reported for Georgia Southern University's "Eagle News." There he covered the 2010 midterm elections live as well as reported on stories in the community. In the Spring 2012, Skyler interned for Clear Channel in Los Angeles, California. Skyler is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. In his free time, you can find Skyler watching the latest movies and reading up on all things in Hollywood. He also loves spending time with his family and friends and finding inspirational quotes. He loves telling stories about politics, tax dollars at work in the community, and highlighting people and business who don’t normally get the spotlight. If you have any story ideas, email Skyler at