Use of space heaters believed as cause of recent winter fires

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by Johnny Archer

WHAS11.com

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 7 at 7:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Fire investigators believe space heaters might be the cause of three house fires in three days in Kentuckiana, the latest occurring early Tuesday morning on the 4100 block of South 2nd Street in Louisville.

“This fire is still under investigation,” Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Botner, with the Louisville Fire Department said. “But we're leaning toward the space heater on the second floor.”

All the people inside were able to escape unharmed. But the sub-zero temperature froze two fire hydrants on the street.

“We had to lay longer distances to get water,” Botner said. “This cold weather is really taking a toll on firefighters.”

Monday night, Louisville fire fighters fought another fire on the 3800 block of Powell Avenue. Again, investigators believe a space heater is the source of the fire.

Over the weekend, a deadly fire in New Albany killed three young siblings. Investigators there, confirm that a space heater was the cause.

Space heaters are the cause for 33 percent of house fires in Louisville during the winter season. Fire officials say most them can be prevented if the heaters are used properly.

“If you go to bed, obviously you need to turn it off,” Captain Sal Melendez, with the Louisville Fire Department said.  “They’re not designed for overnight use or extended periods of time use.”

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