LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin man is lucky to be alive after a space heater caught his house on fire early Wednesday morning.
Lufkin Fire Marshal Steve McCool said the fire occurred at a house in the 700 block of Cottonbelt. The man told firefighters that he had been sleeping on a couch in the living room of the home when he heard his space heater pop and woke up to find his couch on fire.
"He's very fortunate that he woke up when he did," McCool said. "Because of the way his living room was set up, if the fire had gotten out of hand before he woke up, he wouldn't have been able to get out."
The man wasn't injured in the fire, but McCool said the house was pretty much a total loss. He said the living room mainly had smoke and water damage. However, the fire got up into the home's attic and did considerable damage, McCool said.
The home's occupant was able to salvage some of his belongings after the fire, McCool said.
McCool said people need to be aware that space heaters should be kept at least three feet away from combustibles at all times. He also said that people need to turn their space heaters off when they go to bed at night because even if the heater is kept three feet or more from the bed, people have a tendency to kick their covers off of their beds.
Several years ago, something similar happened, McCool said. He said kicked-off bed clothes came in contact with a space heater and caught a house on fire. If the home's smoke detectors hadn't gone off, they might have a dead mother and two dead kids.
As a side note, McCool said when fires were being set in North Lufkin about two years ago, the arsonist tried to set the house that was burned last night on fire. In connection to the series of set fires, an Angelina County grand jury indicted Stanford Jones on six arson charges in December of 2013.
McCool said Wednesday night's fire was not related to that case.