Structure fires on the rise in Paris

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PARIS, TX -- The Paris Fire Department averages over 100 structure fires a year, which is more than cities the same size and even more than those with a much higher population.

"From the cities that I have worked in before, there is an unusually large amount of fires in Paris and I attribute that to that to the age of the structures." said Fire Chief Larry Wright.

Compared to other cities, the city of Paris does not have property maintenance codes that require owners to upgrade their building to fire code.

"There's property maintenance codes out there for that, the city does not currently have those." said Fire Marshal Dale Maberry.

Due to the fact that the city does not have the residential codes, the department relies on other methods to help reduce the number of fires.

"We're trying to prevent the ones that can be prevented and that's through public education and through the schools." said Wright.

Last July the city asked the Fire Department to tear down 100 vacant houses by the end of this summer, helping reduce the amount of abandoned home fires.

"We've done a pretty job of eliminating a lot of the structures that would be possible targets of a structure fire." said Wright. "We average about two a week."

Officials say performing minor structural upgrades can help prevent it from catching fire.

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