Officials warn of space heater danger - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Officials warn of space heater danger

LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- With frigid temperatures, some east Texans will be trying to keep warm with space heaters and fire authorities are warning people to be use them safely. Space heaters are great for warming individual rooms but officials say they can often be the source of a house fires.

"We're very concerned when temperatures start to dip because of the many fires we do experience because of space heaters," says Longview fire marshal Johnny Zackary.

5 days ago, a space heater torches a Kilgore home. In October, the Sample family lost everything they owned in a first started by a space heater.

"I really don't think that with all the fire prevention we knew as a family that we could have come out of this unscathed because it was a hot fire, but it was a total loss , all we had was what was on our backs, and I thank the lord for sparing us," says Jack Sample.

At places like True Value, the cold brings many in looking for the heaters.

"They come in here looking for space heaters and cords to put on space heaters they already have," says True Value employee Kelley Connor.

Often investigators find that owners have placed the heater next to curtains, or blankets or furniture, easily starting a fire. Space heaters offer radiant heat but the surface can be hot as well, which is why it's important not to let flammable objects come in contact with the surface.

"It produces a lot of heat from the coils inside, they need to be 3 feet from any combustibles," Zackary says.

Space heaters should be kept at least three feet away from any flammable objects.

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