A heater can be dangerous

When I was a little girl, we lived across the street from a man who was a persistent smoker. He smoked cigarettes all the time and sometimes, he would even fall asleep with a cigarette in his hand. My dad always said that one day, my neighbor was going to accidentally burn his house down with one of those cigarettes. We were not surprised when one night, we were awakened by the sound of fire trucks. Sure enough, my neighbor’s house was on fire! Thankfully, he was able to escape and he told us later that it hadn’t been a cigarette that caused the fire after all. Since it was in the middle of winter, he had been running one of those old fashioned space heaters in his house. His home was old and drafty, and he didn’t have a central heating unit or an upgraded HVAC unit installed in there. Instead, he would only heat with space heaters (like the doomed one) or with his fireplace. He said that on that fateful night, he had run out of firewood and the temperature was steadily dropping inside his house. Since he didn’t have an gas furnace or another kind of heating system to use, he decided to turn on his space heater instead. He said he was only going to leave it on for a little while, just until the interior temperature had heated up a little bit. Unfortunately, he had fallen asleep while the heater was turned on and his big dog had somehow knocked it over. Once that happened, it had only taken a few seconds for the entire house to ignite and go up in flames.

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