MARSHALL COUNTY, OK -- Firefighters say a portable heater cost a Marshall County man his home Tuesday in an early morning fire.
With more Texomans will turning on those heaters for the first time Tuesday night, local fire departments are working to prevent tragedies like this.
Texoma Fire Chief, Jere Zimmerman says, "He said he went outside for a little while, heard a pop, his house was on fire."
It can happen in an instant. Chief Zimmerman, says a propane heater too close to a chair inside this Woodville home caused it to catch fire early Tuesday morning. It's now a total loss.
"We're going to have to make an assumption that the placement of the heater in the house caused the problem.", said Zimmerman.
Zimmerman says thankfully no one was injured but he hopes others will not make the same mistake.
according to Zimmerman, "Anything that's close to a portable heater- drapes, carpet, chairs in the room- If you get it too close, it's going to get hot enough to ignite and then you've got a problem."
Ardmore Fire Marshal, Clyde Ellis, says the biggest home hazards during cold weather are portable heating devices.
Ellis said, "A lot of people don't realize, space heaters aren't designed to keep your house warm. They're designed to just knock the chill of while you're in the room."
Ellis says getting heating equipment and smoke detectors checked out before it gets cold is the key, as well as, keeping flammable objects at least three feet away from heating equipment.
But Ellis says there's one item in your home that can save your life in the event of a fire.
"If you have a working smoke detector in your home you're chances of surviving a fire just doubled. If it's a working smoke detector.", said Ellis.
Ellis also suggests installing and maintaining a carbon monoxide alarm since home heating devices are a common culprit.