WUFT News

Gainesville house fire sparks safety advisory

By and on January 24th, 2014

Kara Godwin fell asleep around midnight to the sight of the last bit of flames dying down in her fireplace.

She awoke nearly four hours later to flashing red lights coming through the windows and aggressive banging on her door.

Gainesville firefighters arrived at her home in the 1900 block of Northwest 14th Avenue after a neighbor called in a large fire coming from the house’s roof, according to a news release from Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Lane.

Godwin safely left her house. GFR had the fire under control within 10 minutes, according to the release.

“I was completely stunned, and just stood there in the cold and watched the firemen do their amazing work and get the fire out,” she said.

The Gainesville homeowner had only been living in the house for two months. She was still in the process of unpacking, she said.

There were also two house fires in Bradenton and Orlando on Friday, each leaving a person dead. The causes of the fires are still being investigated.

With January being the peak period for heating-related house fires, Lane said he encourages people to get their fireplaces cleaned and inspected annually — especially in cold weather when they’re used frequently.

Fireplaces aren’t the only heating implements causing trouble this time of year — if a kerosene or space heater hasn’t been serviced recently or is improperly tuned, it can produce deadly carbon monoxide, GFR Lt. Pat West said.

“It’s not uncommon at all for us to go out for either activated carbon monoxide alarms or for people experiencing signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning,” he said.

Carbon monoxide poisoning shows flu-like symptoms, West said, such as headache, nausea and feeling lightheaded.

West said kerosene heaters in particular can produce carbon monoxide due to incomplete combustion, so it’s important to keep a few windows open to ensure proper ventilation.

Using clean kerosene and a clean wick also helps cut down on carbon monoxide emissions.

“We always caution folks to have their heater or gas-fired furnaces serviced on a regular basis,” West said.

Placement of heaters also needs to be taken into account, he said. Heaters should be placed far away from anything that can catch on fire once hot enough, like blankets and furniture.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

BqcMUJ0CcAAuJrS

2 Shot at Apartment Complex, Police Find Suspect Dead

Update 8:30 p.m.: GPD has reported that Gerald Hall has been apprehended. Updates as they are available. Earlier: Update 10 a.m., June 19: GPD is now seeking another suspect in the shooting. Gerald Hall, 43, is wanted for questioning for [...]


For The Women Released After Arrest of CPA, Recovery Just Beginning

A well-known Alachua County accountant has been charged with three counts of human trafficking for keeping women in captivity, offering drugs in exchange for sex and house cleaning.


Group Expanding Investigation into GRU Fee Tax

Seniors vs. Crime is now looking into taxes on gas and water surcharges collected by Gainesville Regional Utilities. The group was previously only investigating a complaint about a tax on electric customer charges collected by GRU.


The fee controversy centers on whether the 10 percent municipality tax should be assessed on the electric customer charge. See the complete GRU bill breakdown.

City Responds to GRU Complaint on Fee Tax

The City Attorney and attorney representing Gainesville Regional Utilities have concluded the tax on the electric customer charge is justified.


The new Fisher House located at 5106 NW 8th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32605. Just across the street from the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center

New Fisher House will Provide Lodging to Veterans’ Families

The new Fisher House in Gainesville will allow families of veterans undergoing treatment at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center a place of comfort during treatment.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments