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Blazes at Twin Cities homes affect 17 people, as dangerous fire season begins

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Fire officials in the Twin Cities area are investigating a pair of fires that displaced 17 people – including 10 children – from their homes on Sunday night.

One of the fires occurred on the 2700 block of Humboldt Avenue North in Minneapolis, prompting American Red Cross Volunteers to provide housing, food and clothing to one adult and five children, according to an email news release from the organization.

WCCO reports firefighters managed to put out the "bulk" of the fire, which occurred around 7 p.m.

The Minneapolis Fire Department says it was contained to a second-floor bedroom, and that the cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Meanwhile, in Bloomington, a fire forced six adults and five children out of their home on Wentworth Avenue South, the Red Cross says. Volunteers are also helping them with shelter and supplies.

The local fire department says it was contained to the basement. They are now investigating what triggered the blaze.

There were no injuries reported in either fire.

Dangerous season

The incidents come just as a historically dangerous time for residential fires in Minnesota – the holiday season – begins.

According to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), many of the fires are caused by things that become prevalent during this time period, like cooking, heating (such as wood-burning stoves and space heaters), and, of course, holiday decorations.

"An estimated 250 home fires involving Christmas trees and another 170 involving holiday lights and other decorative lighting occur each year across the U.S," the agency notes.

Since about 2009, from the period of Christmas Eve through midnight Jan. 1, 27 people have died in Minnesota as a result of a fire. Another 21 people were injured.

In the last 25 years, there have been 165 holiday fire deaths in the state.

DPS offers fire safety tips and information here and here.

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