No structure fires for Eau Claire Fire Dept. over the holidays - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

No structure fires for Eau Claire Fire Dept. over the holidays a rare occasion


Eau Claire (WQOW) - The Eau Claire Fire Department is set getting ready to take down a special set of decorations that come with a message of safety. Beginning each year on Thanksgiving, the fire department puts up wreaths with green lights on all Eau Claire fire stations. They change out the bulbs every time there's a structure fire within the city. And this year has been a unique year.

"The best thing we can do in fire service is actually to have the message out there for fire prevention," said Bryon Bensen, a Battalion Chief with the Eau Claire Fire Department.

Starting at Thanksgiving, wreaths go up at Eau Claire fire stations with green lights. Red bulbs would replace the green ones in the case of a structure fire, which can happen for a variety of reasons.

"A structure fire in a primary residence will be something that causes damage to the structure itself. You know, we can get maybe a small fire or a dryer fire, but if it doesn't do damage to the building then we don't consider that to be a structure fire," Bensen said.

The fire department says for the last several holiday seasons they've had to replace at least one bulb, and sometimes a few. But this year has been an unusual year for the department, and in a good way. So far this season, they haven't had to replace a single bulb.

"so far for 2012, we do have our regular amount of smoke detectors going off, alarm systems going off, burnt food will set off some types of the detectors. And those have come across on a fairly regular basis. Also, as far as car fires, we go to a couple of those. There might be trash fires," said Bensen.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly why this year has been safer.

"From my personal experience, why we don't have a bulb, a red bulb on the wreath this year, it'd be hard for me to say why. I'm just glad there's not. There's nothing any different this year than last year. I'm just glad that the message is getting out and that we didn't have to go to a fire this year," Bensen said.

The wreaths will still be lit up for a few more days. They come down each year on New Years Day.

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