A Barrow County firefighter suffered minor injuries during a Dec. 19 structure fire in the 700 block of Highway 211.
The firefighter was injured when he fell through a portion of the front porch. He was transported by Med 1 to an area hospital where he was later released.
Barrow County Fire and Emergency Services public information officer Lt. Scott Dakin said the fire started as a result of a blanket placed in a doorway near a kerosene forced air heater.
Engines 1, 5 and 6, as well as Med 1 and 6 were dispatched to the fire. Chief John Skinner and Deputy Chief Bryan Bullock also responded to the scene. First arriving firefighters found heavy fire in one room of the home with fire extending outside through the front door and several windows. According to Dakin, firefighters made a very rapid and aggressive attack on the fire and were able to bring the flames under control very quickly. The fire was contained to one room, but the remainder of the residence suffered heat and smoke damage.
None of the residents were injured in the blaze. The family is being assisted by the American Red Cross.
Manufacturers of kerosene forced air heaters recommend that they not be used as primary heat sources in a home but only for emergency heat. Heaters should be well ventilated and combustible materials must be stored at least 36 inches away.
“This type of heater, as all type of space heaters, must be used safely and according to manufacturer’s recommendations,” Dakin said. “When we see citizens using a heater improperly, we recommend they change the way they use the heater. They sometimes tell us they have been doing it for years; however it is only a matter of time until they have a fire caused by the improper use and that could result in a total loss of their homes.”