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House Safety

Space heater causes nighttime house fire in SW OKC

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — In the early hours of Monday morning, three people living in a house in southwestern Oklahoma City escaped a house fire without injury.

According to the fire service, the fire was started by a stove. Fortunately, everyone made it out alive.

The fire was near 104e and May and started just after midnight.

“Upon arrival, the first few crews to arrive at the scene heard screams coming from the house, so they immediately went into rescue mode,” Batt said. Chief David Carter, Oklahoma City Fire Department.

When the crew arrived at the scene, they said the garage was heavily in flames…but they were able to take it down quickly.

The house has already suffered significant damage.

“It’s not a total loss… The garage obviously suffered some heavy, heavy damage,” Carter said.

The neighbor who lives next to the house that caught fire told us that the family used the garage space as a bedroom, which is where the fire started.

“It looks like the garage was used as a living room, like a bedroom,” Carter said.

And as for how the fire was discovered, neighbor Steven Bennett said his brother and sister-in-law, who live directly next door to the family on the other side, walked over to bring him a cake.

“They were on their way here to bake a cake… My brother’s wife brought down a cake to put in my oven, and they live on the other side, and they are the ones who smoke the smoke from the saw coming home.” Bennett said. “The smoke came from the garage. Apparently they weren’t in it when it caught fire.”

Steve Bennett now calls his brother a hero.

“They had to wake up some people and the little girl was like, ‘What’s going on?’ They told her to get out. The house is on fire. Around that time the smoke alarms started going off and the house started to fill with smoke,” Bennett said.

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At one point, firefighters were looking for two of the other five people living in the home.

“There was a report that there may have been two more people trapped in the garage… The fourth and fifth person were not home,” Carter said.

“Everyone was worried that there were still people inside because two people were missing, but they had left and were going somewhere,” Bennett said.

Firefighters said total damage is estimated at about $115,000.

Fire investigators determined that the fire was accidental because a space heater was placed too close to flammable objects.

The Oklahoma City Fire Department said they recently responded to several building fires started by space heaters.

Here are a few fire safety tips from the Oklahoma City Fire Department:

  • The rule for space heaters is, “Space heaters need space.” In other words, keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that could burn.
  • Choose a heater with automatic overheat and tilt shut-off functions.
  • Place the heater on a firm, flat surface.
  • Keep the stove away from pedestrian areas and do not block exits with it.
  • Keep children and pets away from stoves.
  • Plug the heater directly into a wall socket, never use extension cords.
  • Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room or go to bed.