EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. - Heater malfunctions are a big problem for homeowners during the winter months, according to Clinton Heights Firefighters. Whether it's a furnace, a space heater or a wood stove firefighters say people need to take the proper precautions to keep themselves and their family safe.
Clinton Heights Fire Department received a call around 9:00 p.m. Monday. Assistant Fire Chief Seth Tracey says it's the second time he's been to a fire on Maryland Avenue in less than a week.
The helmet camera one of the firefighters wears doesn't show much. The screen black with smoke catches a few glimpses of the flames in a four-year-old girl's bedroom.
"It looks very devastating, but we're thankful, most of it was outside and we confined it to one bedroom," Tracey said.
Less than 24 hours after receiving the call he returns to the home, the little girls toys are spread out with burnt pieces of wood.
Tracey says the fire started because of a problem with the families wood stove.
"Looks like something dropped into the wood structure that surrounded the chimney and it traveled up and into the house itself," Tracey said.
The number of heating related fires increases during the winter months, according to the Tracey.
"A lot of people don't have their chimneys clean, so we get a chimney fire or a furnace will catch fire we've had several of those over the past few weeks.
Tracey says the good thing about this situation were the working smoke detectors. He says they may be what saved the family.
"They did everything right," Tracey said. "They got everybody out right away. They were waiting outside waiting for us when we got here," Tracey said.
Tracey advises people to change the batteries in their smoke detector. He also advises people not to plug too many of their holiday lights into one power strip. A power surge is what led to the fire at the other home on Maryland Avenue earlier in the week.
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