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Motorhome total loss due to improper use of auxiliary electrical heater

13TH AND SYCAMORE FIRE.jpg

A fire breaks out in a mobile home with a man still inside. KLEW News Reporter Shannon Moudy was on scene in Asotin County. She joins us in studio with what happened.

Fire crews were called around 1:15 Friday afternoon to the area of 13th and Sycamore Streets in Clarkston. This was the scene as Asotin County Fire District 1, and the Clarkston Fire Department worked to knock down the flames. Crews responded within minutes of the call coming in, but as you can see, this trailer is a total loss.

Assistant Fire Chief Mike Hohman says that’s because fires spread very fast in motorhomes. This particular fire was caused by improper use of a space heater, something fire officials nationwide see a lot of in the winter.

"It appears that it was probably electrical in nature,” said Assistant Fire Chief Hohman. “There was an auxiliary electrical heater that was being used inside the motor home. This time of year that's pretty common, people start augmenting their existing heat with things that aren't quite as safe as they should be."

A man was inside the motorhome when it caught fire, but managed to escape and didn’t get hurt. The fire caused minor surface damage to a home next to the trailer.

Fire officials say if you’re using space heaters or other extra sources of heat, make sure you keep them away from flammable materials. Also make sure extension cords can handle the amperage of that heater.

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