Dog dies in house fire caused by space heater
A dog died in a house fire Monday morning, but firefighters saved a cat’s life by using oxygen.
No humans were hurt.
Firefighters were called at 10:44 a.m. to the house at 212 W. Umstead St. in south-central Durham. The call to 911 was made by contractors working on the outside of the home who heard a smoke detector, Deputy Chief Chris Iannuzzi of the Durham Fire Department said.
Firefighters saw flames in a bedroom and extinguished it quickly, Iannuzzi said.
They searched the single-story house and found a dog – breed unknown – dead, probably from smoke inhalation. The kitten was given oxygen at the scene and appeared to be doing well, he said.
Since the owners weren’t at home during the fire, Durham County Animal Control transported the kitten to the home of the owner’s mother after a relative showed up and gave them the address.
Iannuzzi said the fire was caused by a space heater left unattended and too close to the bed.
“Please make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for placement of space heaters,” Iannuzzi said. “If you do not have the instructions, make sure space heaters are always placed at least three feet from any combustible materials such as clothing, curtains, beds and books.”
The Red Cross is providing temporary housing to two adult occupants.
Twenty-eight firefighters were at the fire scene about 90 minutes.
More space heater safety tips are available at http://www.ul.com/global/eng/pages/corporate/newsroom/storyideas/homeheating/spaceheater/