March 04, 2013

News Release

For Immediate Release

Reminder: Use Caution When Using Alternative Heating

A close call one morning last week was a good reminder for residents to be vigilant when using alternative heating. Springfield firefighters responded to a house fire on South Nettleton just before 5 a.m. Thursday. A resident woke up to the sound of her smoke alarm sounding and saw flames coming from the kerosene heater in the living room. She tried to move the heater out the front door, but was unable to get it over the threshold of the front door. When the heater hit the threshold it tipped and spilled fuel causing the fire to intensify. Two adult residents and two children were able to escape through the bedroom window and firefighters were able to quickly get the fire under control. The resident told investigators she had filled the kerosene heater with gasoline, which caused the fire.

Alternative heating sources are not inherently a greater fire risk. With caution they can be used safely. That's why the Springfield Fire Department is encouraging residents using kerosene heaters, pellet stoves, wood stoves, space heaters or any other supplemental home heating equipment this winter to follow this advice:

Portable electric space heaters

Fuel-burning heaters

Wood and pellet-burning stoves

Also, make sure your home has smoke alarms on every level, outside each sleeping area and inside every bedroom and test them monthly to be sure they are working. Plan and practice your home fire escape drill. And, please install carbon monoxide alarms in your home to protect your family from this silent killer. Please join the Springfield Fire Department in ensuring that our community is safe from heating fires this winter.

For more information, contact: Fire and Life Safety Educator Cara Restelli Erwin, (417) 864-1699.

city of springfield fire

Springfield Fire Department

830 Boonville Ave., P.O. Box 8368, Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1500 • FAX: 417-864-1505 • springfieldmo.gov/fire