2 of 4 Harford County weekend fires started by heaters
9:18 PM, Jan 6, 2014
5:55 AM, Jan 7, 2014
ABERDEEN, Md. - Charred remnants now lay outside the Aberdeen in Town Motel, the building itself sits boarded up. Just a few days ago, a handful of people called the rooms home.
"It was just a big ball of fire. It was real bright. Seeing smoke and everything," motel resident, Donald Kitner, said.
The Saturday morning fire was the first of four flames to hit Harford County this weekend. Although no one was hurt, officials determined a space heater started the motel fire.
"People gotta be careful with them. You know, you have to be very careful with what you put next to them. And what you put on them. It will catch on fire," said Kitner.
Now crews are doing everything they can to spread the word about heater safety during the cold winter months.
"Make sure there's no combustibles within three feet. Keep that entire area, three feet around any space heater, free of any combustibles," said Bruce Bouch, with the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office. "You don't want any potential of anything falling on the space heater, you also want to make sure no kids or pets can come in contact with them as well."
FEMA released a video instructing people on how to correctly use a space heater, with reminders like never plugging it into an extension cord, and keeping it out of range of children and animals.
"I went over and looked at it, and it was just unbelievable. 'Cause there's nothing in it. It's all gutted completely," Kitner said of the room where the fire started.
The owner of the Aberdeen in Town Motel said he found temporary housing for the six people affected by Saturday's fire. He hopes to fix up the building, and have everyone back in their homes within the next few weeks.
In a separate Harford County incident, a warehouse caught on fire after a ceramic heater was used to keep flooring materials warm.