Official says space heater ignited couch, causing fatal fire

By: Brian Louwers | Online Only | Published March 28, 2013

WARREN – A space heater operating too close to a couch caused a fire that killed a 59-year-old Warren man and his dog March 27, Warren’s top fire official said.

Fire Commissioner Wilburt “Skip” McAdams said emergency crews were dispatched to the home on Thomas west of Ryan and north of 11 Mile Road at 8:24 a.m. and arrived to find flames and smoke billowing from the front half of the ranch-style single-family dwelling.

“We made entry through the front door; a simultaneous attack of the fire and search and rescue,” McAdams said. “We found the victim on the floor near a wall leading into the kitchen. It was determined that the victim was deceased and there was no hope of rescue resuscitation. We also found a small pet in the room of origin.”

McAdams said the fire was not suspicious in any way and that it had been ruled accidental.

“The room of origin was the living room. It appears that the origin and the cause were the combustibles too close to a heat source. He was using a space heater to provide secondary heat to his living room. It appears it was too close to his couch,” McAdams said.

Firefighters from Station No. 6 on 12 Mile west of Ryan reportedly saw smoke from the station as they were dispatched.

Additional firefighters were sent to the scene from Station No. 3 on Ryan north of 12 Mile and Station No. 4 on Chicago Road east of Mound.

The death was Warren’s second fire fatality of 2013.

An 80-year-old man became the city’s first fire-related death since 2010 after rescuers pulled him from the bed of his smoke-filled home near 13 Mile and Dequindre Jan. 15.