STORM LAKE, Iowa (KCAU) — A home in Storm Lake has been called a total loss after a fire in Storm Lake on Thursday.
Storm Lake Fire Chief Glenn Schlesser told KCAU 9 that the fire department was called to a trailer home located on West 8th Street at about 7:37 a.m. for a fire.
Schlesser said flames were seen upon arrival and all residents were out of the building before they arrived.
The fire was brought under control after about 20 mins according to Schlesser, but the home was determined to be a total loss. Schlesser said that even though the home was lost, thankfully there were no injuries during the incident.
According to a GoFundMe started by a member of the family, a passer-by saw the fire and woke up the family, allowing them to escape. The GoFundMe also details that the fire spread to their vehicle.
The cause of fire was determined to be caused by the improper use of a space heater. It’s believed it either failed or ignited nearby clothing, the fire spread and cause several small propane tanks to explode while firefighters were working.
“We want to stress the safe use of extension cords and not to use them with space heaters,” Fire Chief Glenn Schlesser said “Also, space heaters should not be left unattended, should be UL approved and pass a tip test where the unit powers off if tipped over.”
A release from the Storm Lake Fire Department states that space heaters cause about 1,700 fires every year and cause approximately 81% of fatal house fires caused by heat.
“We want people to be safe if they must use a space heater and would also like folks to keep cook stove tanks and other flammable gas cylinders in an exterior storage location or garage whenever possible,” Chief Schlesser said.
You can find a link to the family’s GoFundMe here.