OXON HILL, Md. (WJZ) — As temperatures drop, firefighters are seeing more fires caused by improperly-used heater sources. Sunday in Prince George’s County, one man was killed and more than a dozen others were displaced from their homes.
As Adam May explains, it happened one day after a couple in Oxon Hill had a family get-together and put up their tree and Christmas decorations.
Fire broke out in their home, sending the man and his wife to the hospital. The man was trapped inside.
Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor pulled him out with burns over 70 to 80 percent of his body. According to Bashoor, the man was in his 50s and was filling up a kerosene heater while it was still burning.
“It devastates me because he’s a great neighbor,” said Orlando Dozier.
Another fire was not far away in Chillum, where 13 people were displaced when an electrical malfunction of a heat pump triggered a smoke blaze.
“The flame shooting out of the neighbor’s roof. The smoke was dark everywhere. It was scary. Right now I’m nervous,” said a neighbor, who explained the fire started next door in her duplex.
Prince George’s County Fire want to remind folks to check their heating system, keep space heaters away from flammable material and to never fill up their kerosene heaters while it’s running.
“You want to stay warm. We want to keep you alive and protect your property,” said Bashoor.
The names of the couple in Oxon Hill have not been released.