Fire officials warn homeowners about space heater safety after devastating fire

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Fire officials have a warning for homeowners after a devastating fire injured a woman and killed four pets.

It happened around 8 a.m. Thursday on Carter Drive near I-35 and S.E. 15th.

"This gentleman that lives right here in this house, he had to pull her out. He had to break glass to get her out, get her out of the window. I heard she burned her back pretty bad," said David Lynn Emerson, a neighbor.

Shortly after the rescue, the homeowner's home was destroyed by the flames. She was transported to a hospital for smoke inhalation, and four of her pets were pronounced dead on scene.

"There were no smoke detectors that we could discern once we got inside," said Batt. Chief Greg Lindsay with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

Not only that, but crews discovered a space heater was the cause of the fire.

"The reason that this one caught on fire is because it was tipped over. So, we just want to remind people of some very basic things to keep in mind," said Benny Fulkerson with the OKCFD.

Fulkerson said homeowners should keep space heaters several feet away from furniture, turn them off when they leave the room or go to bed and buy a space heater that turns off when it tips over or overheats.

"Just be aware that a lot of these things are in place now to keep you safe. So, there are options when you're purchasing one," he said.

Fulkerson said space heaters are a common cause of fires, but another thing you should periodically check in your home are smoke detectors.

"You have to have working smoke detectors in your home. We stress that all year long but, as we obviously move into the winter months, when we know we're going to have more structure fires, we're probably going to start talking about this a little bit more," he said.

The OKCFD will install smoke detectors for free. If you're interested, call 405-316-BEEP.

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