Man Rescued After Space Heater Causes Fire

No working smoke detectors found in the home

WASHINGTON -- D.C. firefighters saved a man's life early Tuesday morning when they pulled him from his smoke and fire filled bedroom.

A passerby noticed smoke coming from the row house on Gallatin Street NW and called the fire department. When rescue crews arrived on scene, the house was engulfed in flames. They found a 66-year-old man unconscious in his room on the second floor and were able to pull him down to safety.

A spokesman for the fire department says the man had possible second and third degree burns, but is expected to be OK.

Fire investigators have determined the cause was a space heater placed too close to the mattress, causing the bed to catch fire. They also discovered there were no working smoke detectors. Damages are estimated at $120,000.

Fire officials remind people to use extra caution when using space heaters:

  • Allow at least three feet on all sides of the unit
  • Turn unit off when not in use
  • Remember to inspect cords closely for frays or wear and tear

Officials also remind D.C. residents that everyone living in the city is entitled to a free smoke detector by calling the fire department at 202-673-3331 or visiting your local firehouse.

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