Furniture too close to a heater sparks house fire

Investigators say a fire that heavily damaged a house at 198th and Damson Road was started by furniture too close to a heater.

The fire broke out in the small house around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday. No one was home at the time. Crews from Lynnwood and Fire Districts 1 and 7 had the flames out in about 20 minutes.

The house is considered a total loss, with damage estimated at $50,000. Red Cross is helping the two adults who were renting the house. They did not have insurance.

An investigator believes the fire started on the back side of a wooden entertainment center that had been placed in front of a wall heater. The residents said the thermostat had turned on during the night and they didn’t turn it off before they left in the afternoon.

“Every fall as the temperatures start to drop we see fires started by combustibles placed too close to electric wall and baseboard heaters,” said Fire District 1 spokesperson Leslie Hynes. “Many of these heaters operate on thermostats that can be turned down, but don’t actually turn off.”

Hynes said combustibles should be kept at least three feet from wall and baseboard heaters.

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