BOISE -- This week, a fire in Caldwell forced a family of six out their home, and investigators said it spread from the fireplace to the attic.

Crews also fought another fire in Caldwell on Monday.

It was an improperly installed wood stove in a garage, said Tim Scott, with the Caldwell Fire Department. The pipe in the wood stove was up against one of the structural members of the garage and over time it heated and degraded that wood down 'til it finally caught fire.

The man whose home caught fire was at work and came home to the fire.

The Caldwell Fire Department said if you are lighting a fire in a wood stove or fireplace, you should make sure to keep an eye on it.

There are also things they recommend before you light a fire.

You want to make sure that when you install a wood stove, that you have it properly inspected before you use it, said Scott.

When it gets colder than normal, fire officials with the Meridian Fire Department said they see more of these kinds of fires.

The colder it gets, generally the hotter that people burn their wood stove or their chimney to try to generate the heat, said Meridian Fire Deputy Chief Perry Palmer.

Palmer recommends making sure your wood stove is at least 18 inches away from walls and furniture. Also, keep kindling and firewood away from stoves and fireplaces. If you are using wood in a stove or fireplace, fire fighters recommend that it has been aged. Greener, sappy wood can cause more build-up in your chimney.

They also recommend cleaning out some of that build-up, called creosote, in your chimney.

It's recommended that at least at the beginning of the season, if not at the end of the season, that the chimney be fully cleaned by a professional, said Palmer.

Your Christmas tree could also be a fire hazard, so make sure to keep fresh cut trees in water.

When decorating and hanging lights, be aware of how many things are plugged in.

Make sure that the lights are in good condition, there's no fraying of the wires, Palmer said. The other thing that we see is that people tend to use light-weight extension chords with a lot of appliances plugged into them, and they can easily overload those chords.

The Meridian Fire Department also says that they are seeing a spike in broken water lines that are setting off fire sprinklers and smoke detectors.

Read or Share this story: