BRISTOL, Tenn. - Smoke and flames filled the kitchen of a Bristol, Tennessee man's home, and a space heater is being blamed. He escaped and now hopes his story serves as a word of warning.
Roger Dalton actually got the space heater as a gift. What makes it interesting is that his space heater was one of 70,000 Climate Keeper space heaters recalled.
News 5 warned viewers about these space heaters back in June. They were sold exclusively at Big Lots and the company says they can be a fire danger.
Dalton is still finding soot in unexpected places throughout his home and it's just a bitter reminder of what happened early Tuesday morning. "I could see the fire rising up under the cabinets that I just put up and I ran over and started throwing water on it [space heater] out of the kitchen sink," he explained.
He says the fire was caused by this Climate Keeper space heater. Dalton says he learned about the recall after the fire and hopes his bad luck serves as a lesson to others. "First off, get a smoke detector and second, make sure you don't have any heaters that have been recalled," he added.
Heating equipment is one of the leading causes for fire deaths according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Whether it's new or used, here's why firefighters say space heaters can cause problems -- "You don't know the history of that heater and you don't know if there has been any problems. Also, you would not get any automatic recall notices," said Lieutenant Alan Howard with the Bristol, Tennessee Fire Department.
But there are ways to check with websites like www.recalls.gov and all you need is the appliance. "Everything should have a label on it that has a model number and serial number that you can match to recall information," added Lieutenant Howard.
Dalton credits his best friend, his dog, for alerting him to the fire. "She saved me and I guess I saved her. And I guess she was just paying me back for saving her life when I first moved here three and a half years ago," he said.
Firefighters also say now that it's getting colder out it's important to check the cords on your space heaters, as well as the filters.