Space heater suspected in fire at Sikeston home - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Space heater suspected in fire at Sikeston home

(Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS) (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
(Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS) (Source: Sherae Honeycutt/KFVS)
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  • Space heater safety tips

    Space heater safety tips

    Monday, December 12 2016 3:59 PM EST2016-12-12 20:59:27 GMT

    As the temperatures continue to fall, many families will turn on space heaters to keep warm.

    As the temperatures continue to fall, many families will turn on space heaters to keep warm.

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) -

As the temperatures continue to fall, many families will turn on space heaters to keep warm.

A Sikeston man is without a home, and officials say it could be because of a space heater.

The Sikeston Department of Public Safety is urging residents to be cautious with space heaters, a lesson Russell Bean said he’s taking to heart.

“I was at my daughter’s house, and next thing I get a phone call saying my house is in flames," Bean said.

Bean said when he got to his house all he could see were lights and smoke.

“It kind of catches you off guard. So, I just stood there, and all I could do was look. There was nothing I could do," Bean said.

Bean said he left his space heater on before leaving the house.

Something he said he’ll never do again.

“Check everything. Turn it off before you leave, and if you can get alternative heat – do that.”

Sargent Jon Broom with Sikeston's Department of Public Safety said this time of year it’s more important than ever.

“Last night’s a perfect example. The homeowner was away from the home for just a short time, and then they returned and their home was on fire so it’s very important. So, in this situation we were lucky that no one was hurt," Sgt. Broom said.

The National Fire Protection Association found that almost half of home fires during winter months are due to heaters.

Also, that heating equipment is the leading cause of home fire deaths.

In this case, Sargent Broom said the space heater was plugged into a power strip.

“The wires to the extension cord or power cord – they can overheat, and they can actually cause a fire themselves," Broom said.

Bean said if he gets a new space heater, it will be a safer model.

“I would say get a more modern type space heater, because this was an older type," Bean said.

“You want to inspect the space heaters and make sure the cords are in good condition, and the coils that are inside there. If there is some damage to them then you certainly don’t want to use them," Broom said.

Broom said during a time of celebration, this is the last thing they want to see.

“It’s Christmas time, and the last thing we want to do is have someone going through some stress, or lose some gifts and things like that during this time of year," Broom said.

Crews were called to the 200 block of Fuchs just after 9 p.m. on Sunday, December 11.

When firefighters arrived, heavy smoke was coming from the home and they could see flames in the living room.

According to the Department of Public Safety, the fire had spread up the north wall of the living room and into the attic and north gable wall.

It took crews about two hours to put the fire out.

The living room has smoke and fire damage while the rest of the home has smoke damage.

No one was home when the fire started.

Sikeston DPS wants to remind everyone to use extreme caution when operating space heaters.

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