Officials warn to use caution when heating homes

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DENISON,TX---With these cold temperatures residents are finding several ways to heat their homes, and some may be doing more harm than good.

"We can't say that enough that space heaters are an avid cause of house fires, and carelessness is what causes the fires." said Assistant Chief Bill Ray.

Flames tore through this house on the 2700 block of regal drive in Denison Wednesday night. The two people inside got out safely, now fire officials are investigating what sparked the fire.

Assistant Chief Bill Ray says when temperatures get this cold, people tend to start using space heaters; the second leading cause of house fires.

"And so, you know that being the number two spot, there's a lot of house fires caused by the space heaters, either someone put something too close to it, it catches clothes on fire or curtains, or the wiring has some issues." said Ray.

Just last month a fire at a vacant Denison home, started by someone seeking shelter and trying to stay warm, spread to a the family's
home next door; burning it to the ground.

Then, on Monday one man died in Durant after authorities say two space heaters caught his mobile home on fire.

"It's not that they didn't work properly, but they were too close to combustibles and they caught some stuff on fire." said Fire Marshall Wade Boyd.

Boyd says the heater that started the fatal mobile home fire did not automatically shut off.

"They need to be tested by some laboratory saying that if they get hot or get knocked over, they will shut off." said Boyd.

Officials say space heaters can be used safely; you just need to use caution.

"Again making sure the wiring is good, make sure you don't have anything within three feet; you should be okay." said Ray.