Albuquerque Fire Rescue shares tips to prevent heater fires

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Heaters have caused at least two fires in the metro in the last 72 hours.

Officials say the first was sparked by a space heater early Wednesday in southeast Albuquerque. No people were hurt, but a dog was taken to the vet for fire-related injuries.

Fifteen minutes away, on Monroe and Claremont NE, a second fire started with a floor heater Friday morning. Crews say they were able to contain the flames to one room. One person was taken to the hospital with minor burns.

A local fire official says both of these incidents demonstrate how dangerous space heaters and floor heaters, also known as floor furnaces, can be.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue shared some tips to help people avoid potential fires in their homes, during these cold winter months:

First – do not plug a heater into an extension cord. Make sure to plug it directly into the wall, then leave three feet of space between the heater and anything that could potentially catch fire.

AFR also says not to place items directly on top or in front of a floor furnace or space heater, and do not leave them running while you are asleep or away from home. Alternatives to help keep warm overnight include bundling up with extra layers of clothing and blankets.

"One other thing to remember is to not utilize your stove or oven as a heating source, due to the fact that those emit dangerous levels of carbon monoxide inside your home," Lt. Tom Ruiz said.

Finally, make sure you have a smoke detector in your home that works.

"If there is smoke or is it fire inside your home or apartment, make sure you get out call 911 and stay out,” Ruiz said.