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Fire Marshal: Space Heater, Official Cause in House Fire

SPRINGDALE -- Springdale's Fire Marshal says a family's space heater was being used to keep the owner's pets warm, before it caught the house on fire.
Firefighters working on one of the pets pulled from the home
Firefighters working on one of the pets pulled from the home
SPRINGDALE -- The Springdale Fire Marshal believes a space heater is responsible for a Tuesday morning fire that damaged a home, and killed a family pet.

Neighbors called to report the fire on Porter Avenue around 8:20 a.m. after seeing smoke coming from the home.
The report isn't complete, but Battalion Chief Duane Miller says a space heater appears to have caught some blankets on fire.

"Fortunately they were able to contain the fire back to just a couple of rooms of the structure," says Division Chief of Operations Jim Vaughan. "Most of the fire damage is limited to those areas, but there is some smoke damage throughout the house."

Miller says it looks like a heater was left on in a room where several dogs were staying.

"A lot of people consider their pets their children, and they want to make sure that they're as comfortable as possible," he says.

Crews saved three of the animals, but a fourth didn't make it.

This is the second suspected space heater fire in less than a week, and the fire marshal expects more over the next few months

"People tend to use more space heaters, especially near their bed at night in older homes that don't have enough insulation," Miller says. "During the months of December January and February, about 50 percent of all heating fires take place."

Miller suggests using a UL rated space heater, that will shut off if it tips over or gets too hot, but says even the newer heaters must be watched carefully. He says most deadly heating fires happen between midnight and 2 a.m. so it is extremely important to turn off space heaters before going to sleep.

"We recommend that these always be shut off when you leave the room," he says. "They need to be plugged directly into an outlet, no extension cords, and don't stack anything or get anything close to it."

Springdale Fire Department is actively working a house fire on the 1000 block of Porter Avenue.

The fire was reported a little after 8 this morning.  Crews pulled four dogs from the home, one died.  No one was home when the fire started and investigators have not ruled a cause at this time.   A neighbor called the fire in after seeing smoke. Firefighters say there was significant damage to the home.
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