Kerosene heater explosion causes house fire in Preble County; 2 injured

Gratis Fire Department
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Gratis Fire Department

Two people were taken to area hospitals Wednesday night after a kerosene heater explosion sparked a house fire in Gratis.

Crews were called around 7:20 p.m. to the 100 block of Coleman Street.

“We were given reports the kerosene heater had exploded,” Assistant Chief Patrick Caplinger of the Gratis Fire Department said.

Two people were injured and were taken to area hospitals for treatment. A woman reportedly jumped out of a window to safety, but the assistant chief said she already was in an ambulance when he arrived.

The explosion and fire has displaced the home’s residents.

“The downstairs of the home has significant fire damage,” Caplinger said, and the upstairs has smoke and water damage.

For those who use kerosene heaters, Caplinger said to make sure they are not too close to furniture, walls, or anything flammable and that they do not get too hot.

Also, Caplinger said when refilling the heaters, do it outside or in a kitchen — somewhere that if any fuel is spilled it will not be absorbed and possibly ignite when the heater is lit.

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