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2 Temple residents, 2 pets displaced in house fire

Posted at 3:53 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 16:55:09-04

An early morning house fire in Temple has left two people and their two pets looking for another place to sleep tonight.

Shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday morning Shemikkia President woke up to find her neighbor attempting to put out a fire with her garden hose, that’s when she had someone call 911.

”I had my son call 911 and I told her, that water hose isn’t working. She was trying to put it out, and as she was spraying, the fire was going towards my house,” said Shemikkia President.

Minutes later the firefighters arrived on the scene to extinguish the blaze and though all people and pets made it out safely, the fire did extensive damage to the home and the one next door where Shemikkia lives.

”My windows cracked, and I don’t know if those are ventilation things on top of the house, those melted. The firemen said that the house had gotten so hot that they had wet the whole roof down too,” said Shemikkia President.

Now one family is left finding a new place to sleep while another is left with a costly repair bill; something the fire department says could have been prevented.

”After the fire was extinguished, investigators found a space heater that was plugged into an extension cord. This coincided with the resident's story that she had left a space heater plugged in overnight to keep her pets warm,” said Santos Soto, public information officer at Temple Fire and Rescue.

Fires caused by space heaters are something firefighters see all too often and a cause they say is almost entirely avoidable.

”Be mindful of what you’ve got going on if you do have to run a space heater to warm your house. If you leave that room, shut that heater off and make sure it doesn't pose a Hazzard to you,” said Soto.

As for Shemikkia President ... she is left staring at the damage the has made her rethink a decision not to have homeowner's insurance.

”After going through this, no doubt about it. I will be getting it. I will be getting insurance,” said Shemikkia President.

As temperatures begin to cool off, firefighters are urging anyone that plans to use a space heater to follow the safety instructions and not leave the heater unattended.