Space Heaters Spark Two Fatal House Fires

December 14, 2017, 12:20 pm EST | Share:

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (CAROLINE BALCHUNAS, WTAT-TV) — A look around a burned home in Reevesville reveals a melted meter, crumbling walls, signs of smoke & flames and a space heater – a mobile home reduced to ashes.

Dorchester County Fire Rescue battled the blaze for 45 minutes. They say one person did not make it out, but two managed to escape the flames.

Twenty miles away in Harleyville was another house fire which claimed the life of a 29-year-old man.

Officials say three other people escaped unharmed.

Stanley Newton, a family member says they are doing okay and this his brother was the homeowner.

Newton drove in from Charleston after hearing the news.

“I just don’t know. I just don’t have any words,” he said. “I was just here yesterday and to hear this this morning and then come here and see it like this is… is an eyeopener.”

Officials say a space heater set the doublewide on fire. “Their phones, keys to the car was still left inside,” said Newton.

Several space heaters still stood among the debris. Decades of memories incinerated.

“They’ve been here pretty close, I guess, 30 years,” said Newton.

According to the South Carolina Fire Marshal, this was the eighth home heating fatality of the year.

It’s a small device, but a big danger. A tragic accident.

“I’m going to believe in God and know he knows best, and he did what he always do.”

These tragedies serve as a reminder that space heaters can be very dangerous. Officials say the appliances should always be plugged directly into the wall and at least three feet from anything flammable.

You should never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep or leave the home.