SUFFOLK - Suffolk investigators say a Christmas tree caught fire and flames spread through the entire home.

Crews were called to the 1100 block of Bethlehem Street around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The Fire Marshal's Office says it appears fire started near the tree that had dried out. What sparked the fire in the first place remains under investigation.

No one was home at the time; the Red Cross is helping the two people who lived there.

The government says there are about 240 home fires involving Christmas trees each year and another 150 home fires are sparked by holiday lights and other decorative lighting. Those fires result in 21 deaths and $25.2 million in direct property damage.

-Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks.
-Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree.
-Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.
-Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

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