By Brittany Pieper – email
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – Firefighters believe a space heater caused the fire that destroyed a home on Mailhes Boulevard in Caddo Parish. The owner said he thinks he accidentally left one on overnight.
"Most folks are trying to stay warm, and they'll do just about anything to stay warm," said Chief Fred Sanders with the Shreveport Fire Department.
Firefighters say they see the number of house fires rise in December, January, and February, and they think it's because of heating.
"Space heaters are called space heaters because they need space. We recommend that you have a 3 foot clearance around any space heater or even any open flame heat source at all," said Sanders.
The fire department also recommends people who use a furnace to heat their home get it checked by a professional annually.
"This will reduce or minimize the potential of exposure to carbon monoxide or even carbon monoxide poisoning," said Sanders.
Using the oven to heat your home can also cause fires. Meals on Wheels volunteers found several elderly people trying to cut back on their heating bill this way. Barbara Page spent the afternoon checking to make sure everyone she delivered lunch to stays warm in a safe way.
"We're reminding the people, because some of them use ovens as a heating source, so we tell them not to do that and to get their smoke alarms checked," said Page.
She hopes her efforts will keep other homes catching fire.