Space heater warning after potentially deadly fire - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Space heater warning after potentially deadly fire

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A safety warning tonight from the Toledo Fire Department after a family's home went up in flames. Tonight the father is speaking out about what he says could have been a deadly fire.  

The fire broke out Sunday morning after 3 o'clock in the 1700 block of Gill Street. A neighbor spotted the flames and called 9-1-1.
     
Investigators say a space heater placed too close to a couch caused the house to burn to the ground

"My wife woke up to go to the bathroom miracle seen a cushion that was kind of smoking she pulled it away she stood there for about 5 or 10 minutes nothing she went to the bathroom came out the living room was in flames," says fire victim Kevin Engel.
     
The family had only seconds to get out.

"She went back in the bathroom got out windows got my daughter out a window then broke the window from the outside to get my son out from the inside and it was a matter of 2 minutes after that the whole house was gone," says Engel.  
    
The fire caused the roof to cave in. Fire fighters say they've been to several fires caused by space heaters. Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld says never leave your space heater unattended.     

"They all call for the that safety precaution of that 3 foot area around that heater. Make sure theres nothing combustible and make sure the kids stay away 3 feet," said Toledo Fire Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld.   

He also urges families to get a smoke detector or check the ones in your home.

"In the city of Toledo if you live here you can get this smoke alarm at any fire station as long as you're a resident at no cost to you."

Engel says his home had smoke detectors.

"We had one that split the living room dining room right in front of the bedrooms and then we had one toward the kitchen on the first floor and the basement there was one right at the bottom of the steps so if anybody was in the basement they wold be alarmed. Were they working? We hadn't tested them in awhile in the heat of the moment who knows everybody was screaming and yelling who knows if they were going off for sure i can't say yes i can't say know," says Engel.

The family says it's also thankful for all the support from the community. Again if you live in Toledo you can get a free smoke detector. All you have to do is go to your local fire department.

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