It really puts perspective to the numerous press releases on area fires we see here at the station every day, especially recently, but can't cover in every single instance.

Iowa's News Now reports that the Cedar Rapids Fire Department (CRFD) was responding to an "abnormal" number of calls yesterday. It's exactly what they're trained to deal with, but still, even these kinds of numbers were enough to make the CRFD take notice.

CRFD say their firefighters responded to at least 4 first-alarm fires in less than 24 hours, the biggest one being at Westrock Industrial Site on Blairs Ferry Road.

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There were two garage fires early in the morning, at around 2 and 5 a.m. followed by another one in the evening. All told, they had just about as many calls in the first 12 hours of Monday as they usually do in an average 24-hour period, prompting the following statement from CRFD Batallion Chief Jason Andrews:

Today we've had 38 calls so far in the first 12 hours. Normally we have about 35 to 40 in a 24 hour period. Traffic's heavy, people are outside enjoying the outside using their grills. Please dispose of ashes appropriately, dispose of cigarettes appropriately, and just be vigilant and take care of the property

According to a story we brought you last summer about proper ash disposal:

Hot ashes and coals should not be placed in plastic containers. Yep, that includes YARDY containers. Instead, put them in a metal container and wet them down. Put a metal lid on the metal container, and place it outside of your home, garage, or any structure for that matter. Also make sure it's far away from any combustibles. You can leave fireplace and grill ashes be, as they are designed to keep the ash.

Those recommendations came straight from the Cedar Rapids Fire Department at the time. Accidents do happen, and it sounds like people are just ready to enjoy spring and summer outdoors, as they were meant to be enjoyed after over 2 years of limbo and uncertainty. But, as a busy spring day for the CRFD showed on Monday, safety should always remain paramount.

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