Fires take 11 lives in less than a week across Middle TN - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Fires take 11 lives in less than a week across Middle TN

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Deadly fires have kept firefighters busy in Middle Tennessee, and while many are wondering what has happened one fire chief has important advice that could protect your family.

A space heater is suspected of causing one of the fires, and an overloaded surge protector likely caused another.

In about a week, at least 11 people have died in fires across six counties:

A raging fire in Erin killed a man and injured three firefighters Tuesday, and the fire chief there said a surge protector created a spark that started the blaze.

Nashville District Fire Chief Lenny Manning said all too often people make mistakes in the cold that could have deadly consequences.

"What you want to keep in mind if you're using a space heater or kerosene heater: always keep space between anything that can catch on fire, say a bedspread or curtains," Manning said.

In one of the most deadly fires, Lafayette resident Danny Nash was killed while trying to rescue three of his neighbors. The Macon County fire ended up taking four lives, and the chief calls Nash's bravery honorable.

"It takes a lot of bravery to go in like that. Sometimes good, sometimes turns out bad," he said.

The first fire started last Thursday in Henry County, killing Gary and Frankie Brady. Two days later, a fire in Shelbyville killed a toddler.

And just a day after the awful blaze in Macon County, one fire in Baxter killed a man and another fire death occurred in Hohenwald.

Manning said one of the best things you can do for your family is always prepare for the worst.

"Everyone needs to have a plan in place where the family members can meet outside and know to get out of the house safely," Manning said.

The chief also reminds everyone to check the batteries in home fire alarms this weekend as daylight saving time begins and never leave children or pets unattended around space heaters or kerosene burners.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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