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Hanukkah means house fires: Israeli firefighters

Hanukkah is typified by a jump of 10 to 15 percent in house fires according to Israeli fire department spokesman Asaf Avres.

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A menorah is seen lit for Hanukkah in 2004.

SUSANNAH H. SNOWDEN

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Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights for Jews — and a week of headaches for Israel's firefighters.

Many Jews light menorahs, but sometimes too close to the drapes. Fire department spokesman Asaf Avres says the menorahs children make in kindergarten often topple over, posing another fire threat.

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He says Hanukkah is typified by a jump of 10 to 15 percent in house fires.

Firefighters released safety guidelines for the eight-day holiday, which began Wednesday. They recommend keeping fire extinguishers or buckets of water close at hand.

Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in 164 B.C. According to tradition, a candelabra was lit with only enough oil for one day, but it miraculously burned for eight days.


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