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Space heater blamed for Holtville fire

February 08, 2001|By MARCY MISNER, Staff Writer

HOLTVILLE — Fire crews returned this morning to a structure fire here that began Wednesday morning with a space heater.

A woman was in the bedroom of the house when the fire was reported at 8:13 a.m. Wednesday in the 400 block of Palo Verde Avenue on the west side of town, said Holtville Fire Chief Chuck Cariveau.

The woman, whose name was not available this morning, was burned on her hand when she touched the doorknob of her bedroom door and burned slightly on her forehead when she opened the door and flames rushed in.

She escaped without further injury through a window, Cariveau said.

"It appears a space heater was involved in the start of the fire," Cariveau said, adding the heater was in the dining room, next to the kitchen.

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When fire crews arrived, the two rooms were engulfed and fire had erupted through the attic and the cedar-shake roof. Fire crews from El Centro assisted in extinguishing the blaze.

A Holtville fire crew returned Wednesday afternoon to make sure the fire hadn't reignited. They found nothing amiss, Cariveau said.

Crews were called to the house again about 5 this morning after smoldering insulation in the attic reignited the roof. Flames were threatening another house to the north but caused no damage to the other structure, Cariveau said.

Fire crews were finishing work at the house about 8:30 this morning, Cariveau said. To prevent further burning, crews ripped out the ceilings and insulation and opened the roof.

Cariveau said there was heavy fire damage in the dining room and kitchen and heavy smoke and heat damage throughout the rest of the house.

Staff Writer Marcy Misner can be reached at 337-3441.

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