Cold weather snap causes problems inside Dothan home


DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The first winter cold snap of the season has left its mark on parts of the Wiregrass. Tuesday night saw freezing temperatures overnight, and as heaters came on, the danger of fire went up.

The call came out early on Wednesday morning: a house on fire on Patsy Lane in Dothan.

When the first firefighters arrived, they saw flames shooting out from the home.

“Oftentimes we have these fires right at the beginning of the cold season where maybe furniture or clothing or something of that nature has been moved in front of that heater,” Dothan Deputy Fire Chief Chris Etheredge said.

Luckily, they were able to quickly bring this fire under control.

Nobody was home at the time and no injuries are reported.

Firefighters blame a wall heater, they say something was too close to it and caught fire.

“This age of home it was very common to have wall-mounted heaters that are built into the homes,” Etheredge said.

The deputy chief says the thermostat was turned down, and the family may have left home thinking it was set low enough it wouldn’t kick on, but when the cold snap hit, the heater kicked on.

It is often the case in fires like these, it happened when there was nobody in the home.

This was the first heater fire of the season, and as we begin to move through the colder months it may seem like common sense, but firefighters remind you to make sure any flammable objects are away from the heater and if you can, don’t run it if you’re not there.

“And when you leave the home unplug it,” Etheredge said. “Don’t try to just turn it down or think you turned it off. Make sure you unplug it when you leave the home.”

Experts also advise, if your home has central heating and air, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s been checked for the upcoming cold-weather season, so you’re able to not only stay warm, but safe.

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