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Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

SLIDELL, La. -- At least five fires in six days have popped up across St. Tammany Parish.

Last Friday, a vacant house in the Kingspoint neighborhood in Slidell caught fire. Investigators believe arson is to blame.

Monday, three fires were reported in the Slidell area. Firefighters say two were caused by cooking accidents, the other, likely electrical.

Wednesday morning, a vacant house went up in flames in the Mandeville area. That cause is still undetermined.

The rash of fires has some residents uneasy.

'It hit close to home,' said Slidell homeowner Thomas Wiltz. 'This one is right across the street!'

This is the time of year fire agencies say they start to see a spike in fire calls, because of the cold weather and holiday cooking. Fire prevention officials in Covington spent Wednesday morning demonstrating the dangers that can come with frying a turkey, and putting out a cooking fire improperly, like putting water on burning oil.

'A lot of people are going out right now, they're making preparations for big dinners with their families and we wanted to point out some of the safety issues that could be involved,' sad St. Tammany Fire District #12 Chief of Fire Prevention Kris Hines.

The point came across clear to several people who watched the demonstration.

'It does scare me, to the extent of families with children, the fire itself having kids around,' said Jennifer Kustenmacher.

For other common fire hazards this time of year, like heating equipment to combat the cold, Michael Thiel, Sr., a St. Tammany Fire District #1 fire prevention officer, said the best way to save lives is to 'make sure you have working smoke alarms, make sure you have a meeting place outside of your house.'

Authorities are looking into criminal charges for the Slidell arson fire from Friday.

The cause of Wednesday's fire in Mandeville is still under investigation.

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