Bed catches on fire in Hopewell

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 27, 2014

Two fire departments responded to a structure fire Friday, when a local woman’s bed caught on fire.

The home, located on Emerson Lane, was smoking when the Andalusia Fire Department responded at approximately 2:15 p.m.

The damage was not very significant and centralized to the bedroom.

AFD Chief Ethan Dorsey said the fire was likely started by a small space heater close to the bed.

“This was a pretty cut and dry fire,” Dorsey said. “There were foam pillows from a couch around the bed and heater.”

Dorsey also said there were small dogs around the home that may have been inside.

“Any types of space or electrical heaters should not be close to any beds or any type of cloth material,” Dorsey said. “Especially if you have animals in the house that could knock it over.”

He said if a space heater were to get close to any cloth material, it could cause a flame to come up within minutes.

“If you’re going to use any type of electrical heater, you don’t need anything within 10 feet of it,” Dorsey said. “That’s the biggest issue with those things.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for one-third (33 percent) of home heating fires and four out of five (81 percent) of home heating fire deaths.

An extinguisher should be close by, whether a space heater is being used or not, Dorsey said.

The NFPA said when using a portable space heaters, these precautions should be taken:

• turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room;

• use and purchase portable space heaters with an automatic shut off, so if they’re tipped over they will shut off;

• place space heater on solid, flat surface;

• plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord; and

• inspect for cracked or damaged, broken plugs or loose connections.; replace before using.

The NFPA also suggests giving all heaters space; “keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.”

Hopewell Volunteer Fire Department also responded after the arrival of AFD.

AFD newcomer Tom Wright was on the responding team, and other AFD newcomer Devaris Skanes was on shift Christmas.