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Firefighters warn about furnaces after a house fire

The home is salvageable.
The home is salvageable.(Kim Rafferty)
Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 10:27 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A home on Cooper Ridge Road in Milton caught on fire early Saturday morning.

Milton firefighters say the cause was a home furnace.

“It’s starting to pick up as it gets colder at night time,” said Charleston Fire Marshal, Justin Alford.

No one was injured, and the house is salvageable, but firefighters say furnace fires happen most often when the weather turns colder and people first turn them on.

“People turning on their furnaces for the first time and they smell a burning smell so they call the fire department to come check it out,” said Alford.

He said before turning them on it is important to check them.

“Check and make sure there are no nests, make sure your filter is cleaned out, make sure you have a blue flame,” said Alford.

Most importantly, make sure all dust is removed from the furnace.

Alford says the burning smell is normal, it will be there the first couple times when the furnace is turned on, .

“If you see smoke or flames of anything like that, turn it off, get out, call 911,” said Alford.

Furnaces need space because they draw air in to produce heat. If there is not enough air to draw in, it can prevent the furnace from working right.

Even portable heaters need space to heat the area Alford said personal space heaters create more fires.

“People get too close kids run around bump them knock them over pets can knock them over and catch stuff on fire,” said Alford.

He said to check manufacturing labels to see how much space they need because while some fires can be put out quickly, for some it may be too late.

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