Local News

Woman Dies After Space Heater Starts Fire

Posted January 19, 2007

— A woman died late Thursday after a kerosene heater sparked a fast-moving fire in her home, authorities said.

The woman, whose name had not been released Friday, was filling a kerosene heater when there was a small explosion and a flash of flames, authorities said. Fire spread quickly through her house at 903 Anthony St., authorities said.

Neighbors tried to help the woman, who authorities said was in her 30s, but  she had severe burns on 70 percent of her body by the time they got her out of the house, authorities said.

She died at Wilson Memorial Hospital.

A second fire several blocks away late Thursday caused no injuries, but damaged a home at 721 Crowell St., authorities said. That fire also started after a kerosene heater was filled improperly, authorities said.

The two fires prompted authorities to urge people to be cautious in using kerosene and other portable heating devices.

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • ArmyMom Jan 20, 2007

    Last year, all the kerosene we bought was dyed (red). This year, we went to Sheetz and their K-1 was undyed. We always use the blue can for our kerosene so as not to get it confused with gasoline and refill the tank on our heater outside. Please be careful with all heat sources (kerosene, wood, LP) this winter.

  • Fence Straddler Jan 20, 2007

    Sad story. Pray for family and friends of this lady.

  • arbcmb Jan 19, 2007

    I'm sorry for this unfortunate incident, but the headline is completely misleading. The heater did not start the fire--the lady started the fire. These heaters are completely safe when used in STRICT ACCORDANCE with the directions.

  • walkej2003 Jan 19, 2007

    When temperature is real cold, nose may fail! Look for the RED DYE if in any doubt, don't use what's in container - to bad this happens every winter

  • finallysingle Jan 19, 2007

    I have the same problem....tgribben

  • spiritwarriorwoman Jan 19, 2007

    We grew up with these on a farm in NW PA in the 50's. They weren't as safe as they are now, and thank God, we never had any problems with them or with our old pot bellied stove which I wish we still had.
    Accidents happen folks, and it may have been so in this case. Either way, the lady's loved ones, friends and neighbors need our prayers, and they have mine.
    God bless.
    Rev. RB

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Jan 19, 2007

    It is sad they still even makes these.

  • Censor victim Jan 19, 2007

    She may have put gas in it instead of kerosene. Sounds crazy but I came home one evening, my wife informed me she had filled the heater, I noticed the gas can out of place. She had filled it with gasoline and it was in the house running. Very scary

  • nursevb8 Jan 19, 2007

    You have to turn off the flames to refill. Everyone should know these facts of safety.

  • Censor victim Jan 19, 2007

    My post regarding Duke Lacrosse do not show attatched to that article, why do they post here but not there? Anyone?