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Kerosene space heater sparks fire at Zebulon home

Posted October 19, 2015

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— A Zebulon family was trying to stay warm Monday morning when a fire broke out at their home, sending two people to a hospital.

The fire started at about 10 a.m. in the rear of a home on South Wakefield Street near the intersection with West Vance Street.

Raymond Richardson, who lives in the home, was outside when the fire started. He said his girlfriend, Barbara Blount, 72, and her son were moving a space heater into the kitchen when the flames broke out.

"They got a space heater and they were pouring kerosene in it and it spilled over," he said. "He got burnt. She got a little burnt. It went from bad to worse."

Zebulon town employee Todd Roberts called 911.

"It was a big ball of fire on the back of the house," he said.

Fire safety experts say fires caused by space heaters are common in the fall and winter months. Kerosene heaters should always be refueled outside, and only after the heater has cooled.

"Make sure your heating systems are maintained properly," said Zebulon Fire Chief Chris Perry.

Fire officials also urge homeowners to test their smoke alarms monthly.

Blount was released from the hospital Monday afternoon, her son remained at the Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Monday night.

No other information was immediately released.

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