Fire Alerts People To Practice Heater Safety - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/23/07

Fire Alerts People To Practice Heater Safety

A space heater is blamed for leaving a Lubbock family homeless, and now they're asking you to learn from them and check your heater.

Around 10:00 a.m. Tuesday flames tore through the house at 310 54th Street. Fortunately no one was inside at the time. Frank and Raquel Mendez rent the place and say they turned their space heater on for the first time Monday night.

With our dropping temperatures, several people probably have their space heaters out as well, but most folks probably can't imagine their homes going up in flames.  The Mendez family couldn't either.  It just shows space heater accidents can happen to anyone.

"We lost everything, but we have our kids. We can just make more memories," Raquel Mendez said. 

The Mendez family keeps a good attitude, even after watching their home go up in flames Tuesday morning.

"We plugged in the heater last night, because it was cold," Mendez said. 

With the mercury dropping, many of us will do the same, never thinking a fire is how things could end up.

"When you think of what you have and what you could have lost, it is a blessing," Mendez said. 

So, the Mendez family and local fire crews urge you to check your space heaters.

Here are some simple rules to follow: before plugging it in, check the cord for frays or broken wires.  Avoid using an extension cord, and place it on the floor not on top of furniture or cabinets. Also, make sure there is at least three feet of empty space around the heater.

"We're thankful our kids are okay. We're okay. It didn't happen while we were sleeping, so we're thankful to have each other," Mendez said. 

The Mendez family is staying with relatives, but the fire destroyed their bedrooms, and left significant smoke and water damage to the rest of their house.

If would like to help the Mendez family, donations can be made at any City Bank location.

 

Lubbock Red Cross
Learn more about the South Plains Regional Chapter of the American Red Cross.

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