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House fires increasing from improper use of space heaters during cold weather

ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis Firefighters say that a drop in the temperature is often followed by a spike in house fires, likely due to the misuse of space heaters.

The most recent of these examples happened just Saturday when a fire broke out at a home in the 4900 block of Farlin. Firefighters say it appears that a space heater was placed too close to a couch in the home and this sparked the blaze.

An adult and two kids were inside the home but made it out safely. They were taken to the hospital to be checked for possible smoke inhalation.

First responders at the St. Louis City Fire Department Headquarters say house fires are more common this time of year as some people struggle to keep warm. Supplemental heat sources like space heaters are okay to use, as long as they're used properly.

In order to keep your family and home safe, firefighters say that you should keep all potential sources of fuel at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces. This means paper, clothing, bedding, curtains and rugs.

"Don`t splice the wires. Don`t use extension cords. Don`t run the cords under carpets or rugs. Keep away from anything flammable. Your space heater should be just in the middle of nowhere. Just an island onto itself, and when you go to sleep, it goes to sleep,” said Captain Garon Mosby.

Also, never leave portable heaters or fireplaces unattended and never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.