Four Yakima Valley Homes Burn from Space Heater Fires - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Four Yakima Valley Homes Burn from Space Heater Fires

Posted: Updated:

YAKIMA, Wash.- A mobile home caught on fire last week, leaving its owner with thousands of dollars in repairs. This is just one example of the damage a space heater can cause.

"All of a sudden you have a fire and you lose everything you've worked for...all you have left is the cloths on your back, the car in the driveway, everything else is gone," said Max Robinson, from the American Red Cross.

American Red Cross employees say so far, they've had a lot of fire victims. And most of them aren't worried about losing material objects.

"Keep sakes, mementos, antiques, they're gone, pictures, they're gone. Its just devastating," said Robinson.

These fires can be prevented. Firefighters say a common mistake is people don't connect space heaters directly to the actual outlet.

"If you have your space heater plugged into extension like this, this is not strong enough to handle the current and this will fail," said Deputy Fire Marshall Ron Melcher.

Yakima Fire Department employees also suggest keeping space heaters two to three feet from any objects, including cloth materials, rugs and furniture. Buying the right kind of space heater can save you money in the long run.

"This one is ceramic, you can knock it over and there's no live coils inside here to create a problem," said Robinson.

Firefighters suggest switching off space heaters over night and to never leave them on when you're not home.

"It takes minutes, you turn your back and you've got a fire," said Robinson.