Midland Family Discourages Space Heaters Following Freak Acciden - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Midland Family Discourages Space Heaters Following Freak Accident

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A Midland family is still shaken up after a space heater caused a fire inside their home early Thursday morning.

Now, they're reaching out to the community hoping other families will take extra precautions.

"You turn it off, you think, 'Ok. We're good. I don't have to unplug it because it's off,' Well, you do have to unplug it because it still has power going through the wire. If there's a defect in it, like this heater had, it will cause a fire," Midland resident, Maribel Ramirez, said.

A faulty wire was the cause of a fire Thursday morning in the 800 block of South Pecos in Midland.

Maribel Ramirez and her family were home when the fire started. In fact, her son and daughter were sleeping when the flames broke out on the space heater next to their mattress, spreading the flames to the wall.

Maribel says a loud "pop" woke up her daughter. It was then when they all took action. They turned off the electricity and grabbed the hose to try and put the fire out.

"The dispatcher on the phone she kept telling me, 'you all need to get out of the house,' and I'm like, 'We don't have insurance,' I already knew that it was just the room so I wasn't putting anybody's life in jeopardy. I knew that if we couldn't get it out, the worst case was we were gonna get out and the house was gonna burn," Ramirez said.

Thankfully, no one was hurt, but Maribel wants to warn others about potential defective wires so a freak accident like this doesn't happen to them.

"I'll never get another space heater again. Ever. If you have to have one, unplug it. Don't leave it on overnight. Don't put it in a kid's room," Ramirez said.

With our first freeze right around the corner, experts encourage everyone to educate themselves on how to safely use portable heaters.

"Making sure that all of your appliances and any heaters, especially that are portable or kerosene driven are vented properly to the outside. Taking a few steps, just to be proactive with your family, can really make the difference between life and a bad situation,"Brandi Price, Manager of Public Affairs for Atmos Energy, said.

"God was on our side. He sure was," Ramirez said.

For more safety tips for the winter season, click here.

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