DINWIDDIE COUNTY, (WRIC) — A Dinwiddie County resident suffered minor burn injuries trying to put out a house fire that started on their back porch early Friday morning.
The fire occurred around 4:20 a.m. on Friday in the 21000 block of Courthouse Road after the residents left a heat lamp burning to provide heat for the family’s dogs on the back porch.
All occupants were accounted for and the fire was put out by 4:30 a.m. after fire crews arrived. The house was mostly damaged in the attic and rear porch areas.
Residents were alerted to the fire by a third dog that was inside the house. All of the dogs were uninjured.
The person who was burned trying to put out the fire is expected to be OK, and all residents are being assisted by family and friends in the wake of the fire.
No firefighters were injured in the fire.
Although Richmond firefighters cannot comment on the specifics of the Dinwiddie County fire, Richmond Firefighter Lieutenant Chris Armstrong said.
“Without speaking about the particulars of that case or that fire, per se, I can’t go into details, but what I do what recommend what people do is follow the manufacturers’ instructions when using a space heater or any kind of heater equipment,” Armstrong told 8News. “If it says it’s not recommended for outdoor use, do not use it for outdoors. A lot of things we see happening with people is that they use extension cords, multiple extension cords, which we call ‘daisy-chaining.’ Those things are dangerous. Extension cords are not really designed to hold the current of a space heater.”
Armstrong also warned that people should not use ovens to try to warm their homes.
Another option for helping keeping outdoor pets warm, the Richmond Animal Care and Control is offering free straw for people who cannot keep their pets indoors with them.
“Honestly, in this weather, the best thing to do is to bring them in the house,” explained Christie Chipps Peters, Executive Director of Richmond Animal Care and Control. “If that is an impossibility, they can live in the garage or a laundry room if you don’t want them in the main part of the house. But being inside is the best for those people that this isn’t an opportunity.
“If their dogs have dog houses, which they are required to have some sort of shelter by law, then straw is a great insulator. We offer straw to any city resident free of charge we will deliver it if people don’t have transportation. But, it does help bulk up the living space to help keep them warm during the cold weather.”