ST. LOUIS (AP) — The bitter cold weather settling over much of the Midwest and Northeast is unpleasant for most, but life-threatening for some who are willing to do almost anything — even dangerous things — to stay warm.
The U.S. Fire Administration says more than 50,000 residential fires annually are caused by heating, resulting in about 150 deaths. January is the peak month.
People who can't afford to heat their homes, or homeless people huddled in warehouses and abandoned buildings, often take desperate measures to survive. They heat homes with space heaters or huddle around open stoves, or even use candles or kerosene heaters.
Already this winter, several Missouri fires have occurred in buildings where alternative heat sources were used.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis officials are warning pet owners to keep their animals indoors during the approaching cold or face possible animal cruelty allegations.
Forecasts say the St. Louis region could see temperatures of 10 degrees below zero Sunday night and Monday night. The region is also expected to get up to a foot of snow over the weekend.
The Post-Dispatch reports that the city will send search teams out that will look for people who don't have a warm place to sleep, but they'll also look for animals left outdoors. Police are also using extra officers to help look for animals. Chief Sam Dotson says owners will be cited for cruelty to animals.