Twelve house fires in Nebraska and southwest Iowa over the weekend forced about 50 people out of their homes, according to the American Red Cross.
Though it was not clear what caused many of the fires, the agency on Monday reminded people to be careful with fuel sources, fires and candles in the winter.
An Omaha house fire on Friday was caused by combustibles that were too close to a space heater, a common source of winter blazes, authorities said.
An adult and eight children were inside the ranch-style house at 3322 Manderson St. when the fire started about 10:15 p.m., William Bernard, acting Omaha fire battalion chief, said Monday.
No one was injured, he said.
A Red Cross spokeswoman, Liz Dorland, said space heaters, fireplaces and wood and coal stoves can pose a fire hazard.
To reduce the risk of heating-related fires, the Red Cross recommends keeping paper, bedding or furniture at least 3 feet from heating equipment and fireplaces.
A fire in a two-story house on Sunday was caused by a large entanglement of electrical wiring that overheated, Bernard said. The fire, at 905 N. 49th St., started behind a television stand in the living room, he said. Firefighters arrived about 1 a.m.
Fire damage was limited to the living room, though smoke and heat damaged the rest of the house, Bernard said.
The occupants said they had been smelling something burning for several hours, Bernard said.
In Lexington, a fire that flared twice destroyed a home in the central Nebraska city, authorities told the Associated Press.
The residents fled unharmed when the fire first erupted a bit before 5:30 p.m. Sunday. The house sustained major damage.
The fire flared anew around 2 a.m. Monday and consumed the third floor.
The blaze started in the attic and likely was caused by an electrical problem, officials said.