Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue investigators say heat lamps are to blame for three separate fires in one week. 

These lamps, often used to provide heat for small areas that shelter live animals, can be dangerous if used improperly. 

The fires caused several thousand dollars in damage to the three structures involved, and destroyed a small storage shed.

TVF&R Deputy Fire Marshal Jeremy Foster, who investigated all three incidents, said, "The common cause in these three fires was the close placement of heat lamps to combustible materials. When using these types of heating lamps, it's very important to follow the manufacturer's recommendations, particularly regarding placement." 

In all of the incidents the lamps were being used for keeping animals warm. Unfortunately, several baby chicks perished.  A turtle survived with only a scorch mark on its shell.

According to data from the National Fire Protection Association, electrical equipment, including heating lamps and bulbs, are responsible for about 5,000 home fires and 60 fire deaths each year in the United States.   For more information on keeping your family safe from fire, visit TVF&R on the web at www.tvfr.com