JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - This time of year most of you are turning up the heat to fight the cold.
Early Wednesday morning, a house in Flora went up in flames. The reason? The homeowner says a common way to warm up your home is to blame.
The morning started out just like any other for Martha Stigger - cold
“I got up early this morning and turned my stove on so I could get the chill out of my house,” she said.
It only took minutes for Stigger to realize something wasn't right.
“After I turned on my stove I got back in bed and then I smelled gas.”
She immediately sprang into action and went outside to turn the gas off. But Stigger says she wasn’t prepared for what was about to happen next.
“As soon as I walked inside my door, I heard something explode. I heard a boom!”
Unfortunately Stigger’s home didn’t survive the fire and it took hours for firefighters to put out the flames. But she remains thankful nobody was hurt.
Emergency officials say this is the time of year homeowners need to take extra precautions.
While you’re trying to stay warm, the Jackson Fire Department has a few key safety tips you can follow so you can also stay safe.
“We need to make sure we have our HVAC system ready and have changed the filter. Also, check your fireplace and make sure it’s clean and swept.”
Using your oven or stove as a heat source might seem like a good way to keep warm, but the price to pay could be dangerous or even deadly.
“That is not safe. That is giving off carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas. We want to tell all residents that is not a safe practice to use.”
And when it comes to space heaters, keep a three feet clearance around them and shut it off before leaving the room.