An early-morning fire Wednesday on Elm Tree Lane was caused by a space heater too close to a shower curtain, Lexington firefighters said Wednesday.
No one was hurt, and the damage to the home was limited to the bathroom area. The couple who lived there did not have to leave the home, Lexington Battalion Chief Joe Best said.
The couple told firefighters they went to sleep and left the space heater running in a bathroom because they were concerned that the pipes would freeze.
They woke up and smelled smoke and were able to put out the fire themselves, Best said. The fire department was called at 1:10 a.m.
The bathroom vanity and some drywall were damaged in the small blaze.
It was the second such fire started by a space heater this winter and the first fire started by a supplemental heating device in 2015.
During last year's brutal winter, there were several fatal fires in Kentucky caused by space heaters and other secondary heating sources. In January 2014, a mother and her eight children died in a fire in Muhlenberg County. It was later determined that a space heater caused that fire.
As temperatures dip to dangerous lows in the next few days, Best said, people should be cautious about using electric space heaters and other heating devices to heat their homes.
"Bathrooms are not a good place for space heaters because they tend to be cramped," Best said. "They can be too close to shower curtains or a towel can fall off a vanity and fall on top of it."
Here are some tips on the proper use of secondary heating devices:
■ Make sure you have a working smoke detector. Check the batteries of all smoke detectors in your home.
■ Never use an extension chord for an electric space heater.
■ Make sure there is nothing within a three-foot radius of the space heater.
■ Never use a heating device to dry clothes, hats or gloves.
■ Always turn off the space heater when you are away from your home or asleep.
■ If the heating device requires fuel, make sure to refuel outside where there is plenty of ventilation. Do not try to add fuel to a device inside a home.
"Make sure you have a working smoke detector with working batteries," Best said. "That's the most important thing."