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Propane heater fire damages home, kills pets

A propane heater caught fire in a house filled with propane tanks Saturday night in Columbus, leading to the death of two family pets and leaving a family homeless.

Matt Noblitt, a fire inspector for Columbus Fire Department, said city police and firefighters were called to the 2100 block of 23rd street in Columbus at 9:23 p.m. Saturday, after the home's resident, Lori Hawk, called 911. Hawk reported that a propane heater in the living room had caught fire and although she tried to extinguish it by throwing a blanket over it, a couch and end table were already burning when she called for help.

When Columbus police arrived on the scene, they reported that empty propane tanks on the front porch were exploding. Firefighters discovered more than 30 propane tanks at the home of different sizes, a gas generator and several kerosene heaters, Noblitt said.

The home had not been connected to gas for almost five years, Noblitt said.

A family dog and a cat died in the blaze. A second dog was rescued by Hawk, although it bit a police officer who had to be treated at CRH with a tetanus shot.

There was about $50,000 in damage to the home, Noblitt said.

Last Updated: Monday, March 24, 2014 7:49:37 AM

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