PLATTER, OK - A fire ripped through a two-story home and damaged a neighboring house today in Platter. Investigators say they think it started in a fire place, and now a family of four is without a home.
Experts say trying to keep your home warm in the winter can be dangerous.
"Fireplaces in your home, anytime you have an active fire in your home, there's always a possible danger there," said Sherman fire marshal Nathan Huffman.
Colbert Volunteer Fire Chief Ron Giesler says when he got the call this morning he could see the smoke from 5 miles away.
"Must have started in the fire place area and just spread to the rest of the house," said Giesler.
When fire fighters from Colbert, Calera, and Cartwright got there, the two-story house on Platter Dike Road was up in flames and starting to spread to the neighboring house.
"We lost one structure, but we saved the one that was right next to it. It's got some damage on the north wall in the metal building, but the house is intact," Giesler said.
Chief Giesler says the family was not home at the time, and luckily no one was injured.
"If you do have a fire, and you go to bed at night be sure to pull your screens shut, or shut the doors on the fireplace. That way it prevents a log from rolling out or a ember popping out," said Huffman.
Huffman says there are simple precautions you can take to keep your home safe, like only burning seasoned wood because fresh wood can make your fireplace a dangerous place.
"What they call green wood, and that wood produces a chemical that's known as creosote, which can build up in your chimney and that chemical itself is a very flammable and combustible product."
Fire officials also recommend cleaning your chimney on a regular basis and having a spark arresting chimney cap on it to prevent embers from flying out.