Firefighters Say Space Heaters To Blame For Okmulgee House Fire
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma - A Christmas Eve fire left an Okmulgee family homeless. The Okmulgee Fire Marshal believes space heaters that were left on, caused that fire.
Brian and Ashely that family says they are staying with relatives in the Tulsa area. They tell News On 6, they are grateful no one was hurt. The Okmulgee Fire Marshal said they want to remind people that space heaters can cause fires if used incorrectly.
The Okmulgee Fire Marshal said crews were called to this house just off of North Osage Avenue late Christmas Eve.
"The house was pretty much fully involved it hadn't broken through but it was pretty much involved they were able to get it knocked down it extended through the floor so that appeared to be probably the point of origin of the fire" " said Okmulgee Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Rick Chisum.
Okmulgee Fire Marshal Rick Chisum said thankfully the homeowners and three kids were not home at the time of the fire. He says the homeowners were in the process of remodeling and believes space heaters may have caused the fire.
"The distance...it needs to be from it combustible materials, walls blankets quilts coats clothing items chairs any of that stuff it needs to be at least three feet" said Okmulgee Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Rick Chisum.
The Fire Department thinks there may have been as many as four or five heaters left on and overloaded the system.
"It appears that some breakers were tripped at that location,” said Okmulgee Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Rick Chisum.
The National Fire Protection Association said, " Between 2011 and 2015, portable and stationary space heaters accounted for more than two of every five (43 percent) U.S. home heating fires and five out of six (85 percent) home heating fire deaths.”
The NFPA also said, “In 2011-2015, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 54,030 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 480 civilian deaths, 1,470 civilian injuries, and $1.1 billion in direct property damage.”
The family did not want to speak on camera but did tell News On 6 that although there is extensive damage to the inside of the home, they have insurance and are glad no one was hurt. the fire marshal says he has no doubt the Okmulgee Community will step up.
"Our community is really good when something like this happens they step up and reach out," said Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Chisum.
The fire marshal says it looks like the home is able to be repaired, there's just a lot of damage to the inside.
For more information visit the National Fire Protection Associations website