Space heater leads to fatal fire; investigators warn others of heater dangers

News 12 First at Five / Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- As the temperatures start to dip, people are starting to find ways to keep warm.

"This time of the year people are using space heaters a lot," said Lt. Neal Brown with the Richmond County Fire Department.

They seem harmless, but if they aren't used properly, they can quickly lead to a house fire.

"People leave them too close to draperies, bed spreads, furniture, stuff like that. Anything that will burn," Brown said.

Just this past weekend, an elderly man was killed in a house fire on Apricot Lane.

"That was caused by a space heater and a blanket," Brown said.

Fire investigators say the man was sitting too close to his space heater, and his blanket caught fire.

Robert Lewis tried to save the man.

"It was pretty bad. I think he had oxygen in there too, so that blew up, and then the cars blew up, I guess," Lewis said.

Brown says they had several cases like this one last winter, but he says this can easily be prevented.

"If you're not using that heater when you walk off, please turn it off, or better yet, unplug it from the wall," he said.

He says to make sure the heater is always at least 3 feet away from anything that could catch on fire and to make sure not to overload the outlet.

"Try to put it on a separate breaker if you're going to use one," he said.

He also says it may be a good time to invest in a new heater.

"The ones built today are designed and built if they are turned over or tipped over they will turn off," he said.


Have information or an opinion about this story? Click here to contact the newsroom.


Copyright WRDW-TV News 12. All rights reserved. This material may not be republished without express written permission.


WRDW.com is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards.

powered by Disqus
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 176861731 - wrdw.com/a?a=176861731
Gray Television, Inc.