Duplex and house gutted by fire; heaters to blame

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) – A fire displaces a Paragould family after a morning fire destroys their mobile home.

The fire happened at 1600 Dennis Street around 9 a.m. Friday morning. The Paragould Fire Department says a space heater likely started the fire.

"I mean, it's a complete loss," Kevin Lang, the Paragould fire chief, said.

A mother and her three children were inside when the fire started, but all walked away uninjured. A witness said the family lost a pet bird along with most of their belongings.

"Everybody got out," Lang said. "Unfortunately for them, they did lose pretty much everything, but they've still got their life."

Firefighters worked to save the mobile home located near Lake Street and 16th Avenue, but flames consumed the home too quickly, burning holes through the walls and melting off the vinyl siding.

The Paragould Fire Department is still investigating exactly where the fire started and what caused it.

"We'll go in, take pictures of the trailer and the scene, just for our records to go with the report and try to determine exactly, exactly where and what might have taken place," he added.

Fire departments fight more house fires during the winter months than any other time of the year, so Lang advises homeowners to use caution with space heaters.

"When you buy one, it's going to tell you with the installation instructions that come with it how far away it needs to be away from combustibles," Lang said, adding, "A good rule of thumb is a minimum of probably three feet."

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