A house fire in Yakima Sunday afternoon was the latest in a string of fires caused by unsafe use of portable space heaters, according to the Yakima Fire Department.
Sunday's fire was reported at 2:33 p.m. in a home in the 1700 block of South First Street, according to a fire department news release. Firefighters arrived to find black smoke billowing from the home but were able to quickly extinguish the fire, according to the release. No one was home at the time of the blaze, and damages are estimated at $15,000.
Subsequent investigation found the fire was started by a faulty electrical outlet and the use of portable space heaters, according to the release.
This was the fourth fire in a week reportedly caused by use of space heaters:
- A fire reported at 3:20 a.m. Nov. 24 caused an estimated $30,000 in damage to a home in the 100 block of North 28th Avenue. That fire was blamed on faulty electrical wiring powering a space heater.
- A duplex in the 700 block of South Ninth Avenue caught fire early on Nov. 26, causing an estimated $80,000 in damage. The fire was caused by a space heater either placed too close to something combustible or using an inadequate extension cord for power.
- A fire in a home at 3802 S. Third St. in Union Gap caused an estimated $20,000 in damages Saturday morning. Firefighters said they believe that fire was caused by combustible material placed too close to a heater.
The fire department said if you have to use portable heaters, give them three feet of clearance, check the cords for damage or wear, and never use extension cords or power strips to power a heater.