A 98-year-old woman was killed and her son left in critical condition by an apartment fire on Friday night.
The fire broke out at around 10:00 p.m. on December 10, raging for 40 minutes as firefighters doused the apartment unit with water. Four firefighters also suffered minor injuries.
Fire officials believe the blaze was caused by spaceheaters.
The fire is a tragic reminder that, though found in many houses and apartments, spaceheaters can be quite dangerous. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has put together a list of Do’s and Don’ts for buying and using spaceheaters:
- Use a space heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards and has been certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. These heaters have the most up-to-date safety features. Older space heaters may not meet newer safety standards. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for proper use.
- Place the heater on a level, hard, nonflammable surface, such as a ceramic tile floor.
- Keep the heater at least three feet away from bedding, drapes, furniture, and other flammable materials.
- Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
- Turn the heater off if you leave the area.
- Never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep.
- Don’t place a space heater close to any sleeping person.
- Never use gasoline in a kerosene space heater, as even small amounts of gasoline mixed with kerosene can increase the risk of fire.
- Don’t use portable propane space heaters indoors or in any confined space unless they are specifically designed for indoor use.