Fire investigator offers safety tips on space heaters - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Fire investigator offers safety tips on space heaters

Posted: Updated:

By: Lauren Fabrizi
lfabrizi@klkntv.com

Two mobile home fires this week in Beatrice and Omaha have killed two infants and a woman, and have left other family members in the hospital.

"It's like an emotional roller coaster," said. "I just can't believe this happened."

Fire officials believe both fires were caused by the improper use of space heaters.

Lincoln Fire and Rescue inspector Donald Gross spoke with Channel 8 Eyewitness News Saturday on the safety of space heaters.

"The number one thing that you can do is to ensure that you have proper clearance and that the space heater is in good working order," Gross said.

Gross said proper clearance can be anywhere between three and five feet, depending on the model. He said without it, things like laundry, curtains or upholstery can catch fire.

Gross also said to make sure you do not load up power strips with too many electronics as they can trip a breaker and potentially start a fire in the wall.

"If you start tripping your breakers or blowing fuses, what you need to do is plug it into a different circuit within the house," Gross said. "Because tripping the fuse or blown breaker is telling you, you have too much electricity running on this."

Lastly, Gross said it's important to immediately repair any broken space heaters.

The husband of the woman who died in the Beatrice fire is said to be in good condition at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center. The mother and sister of the infants killed in the Omaha fire are both recovering in the hospital.

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