Moore County family loses everything after heater explodes in home of 30 years
Posted February 18, 2021 12:45 p.m. EST
Updated March 3, 2021 10:49 p.m. EST
Carthage, N.C. — A family in Moore County is devastated as their home is a total loss after a kerosene heater exploded on Thursday morning.
The mobile home on Sandy Oak Road in Carthage is still standing, but not after major smoke and fire damage. Part of a metal roof had collapsed on the front porch.
Kathleen Tyndall says the heater exploded in her face shortly after she refilled it around 7:30 a.m. Tyndall told WRAL she had lived in the home since 1991 and they lost most of their possessions.
"I screamed for everybody to get out of the house, Tyndall said. "I was trying to get everybody out of the house as fast as I could. The next thing I knew, everything was in flames."
Five people, including a baby, were inside the home when the fire started.
The family worked together to lift Tyndall's father, who is hooked up to oxygen, through a bedroom window. Her mother also managed to hop through a window before firefighters arrived.
No one was hurt.
Tyndall said she was familiar with kerosene heaters and have used them for years. She doesn’t know how the heater exploded.
“There’s a lot of memories in that house that is lost but forever in our heart,” Tyndall said. Four generations of Tyndall's family lived there.
"Everybody got out okay, thankfully," said Susan Delaney, who bought the home in 1991.
Moore County Director of Public Safety Bryan Phillips said the fire was extinguished in about 30 minutes. Tyndall said the heater was their main source of heat. Temperatures hovered around freezing overnight.
"It's not recommended to leave kerosene heater running overnight or unattended at any time, but many people have kerosene heaters as their only heat source," Phillips said.
Red Cross is helping the family after being displaced. A GoFundMe has also been set up to help the family.