Firies remind of winter danger

A HOUSE fire sparked by an old heater has prompted emergency service workers to give a timely warning about the dangers of warming up in the cooler months.

Hervey Bay firefighter Mark McGrath said a fire which tore through a Hervey Bay home on the weekend was a devastating example of what could happen when heaters were left unsupervised by a home's occupants.

He said call outs to fires caused by old heaters and items being left in front of heaters increased in autumn and winter and this year was shaping up to be no different.

On Saturday, firefighters were called to the home on Boat Harbour Drive at about 6.15pm.

When they arrived neighbours had almost put out the blaze using a garden hose.

The fire had started in the lounge room.

It took only minutes for the firefighters to control the flames but much of the home suffered heat and smoke damage.

No one was injured.

Mr McGrath said it was believed the fire started after the home owners left clothes to dry in front of a bar heater.

He said it was important for residents not to be tempted to leave combustible items near heaters in rainy weather and not to leave heaters on when no one was home.

“Combustible materials do not need to come into contact with the heater for them to ignite,” Mr McGrath said

“Items like clothing, bedding materials, curtains etc can ignite simply from the heat.”

It was recommended that a space of one metre be left around heaters, that only one appliance be used per power point and that people check their electric blankets for damage or frayed cords before putting them on their beds.

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