Dry Christmas trees a serious fire hazard

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PHOENIX -- If you have a live Christmas tree, then you have a serious fire hazard sitting in your living room.

Now that Christmas has come and gone, it's time to think about how you will dispose of your tree. As Capt. Scott Walker of the Phoenix Fire Department explained, it's something you need to do soon -- very soon.

He showed 3TV's Ryan O'Donnell just how fast a dry tree can burn. It's not a matter of minutes. It's a matter of seconds, and those flames can spread throughout your house in the blink of an eye.

"These Christmas trees really are consumed about 30 seconds," Walker said. "It just takes such a small amount of heat ... to cause that tree to ignite, and once it ignites, you're not going to put it out. ... You're going to have a huge fire ball. ... Anything in that room is going to be consumed. You're going to be lucky to just get out."

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Christmas trees account for nearly 250 fires, about a dozen of them deadly, each year. Even if there are no injuries, there's often major  property damage costing millions of dollars.