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Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.
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Space heater suspected to have ignited NYC fatal fire

Home FireA woman and her dog died in a residential fire in New York City at the beginning of last week.  47 year old Dawn Greig had just borrowed a space heater from her sister Denise. Greig who lived in a two-story home on Beach 95th Street in Rockaway Beach previously told her sister that since Sandy the building’s boiler hadn’t been working proprely and she didn’t get any heat. Her sister who had a couple of  space heaters in her own house offered her one.

On Monday morning around 5:00 am, Denise who lived in a house on the same lot stopped at her sister’s place for a quick chat before heading to work. At that time everything seemed ok. The fire erupted 3 hours later. When the firefighters arrived they found Dawn unconscious on the second floor. She was rushed to the hospital but she didn’t survive. He dog also perished in the flames. The borrowed heater was found melted by the FDNY (Read more about it in the NY Daily News).

Portable heaters are responsible for an average 12,000 fires every year in the US

Because they have a high-wattage space heaters can easily ignite any potentially flammable item such as paper, clothing, curtains, bed, sofas and result in fatal fire.

If you are using space heaters in your home here are a few safety recommendations:

  • Don’t use a space heater that is damaged and always inspect if the cord and the plug are in good condition before using it
  • Don’t leave the heater unattended and don’t use it while you are sleeping
  • Make sure there is no easily combustible material nearby
  • Stop using the heater if the  heater plug or cord, wall outlet, or faceplate is HOT and have it checked by an electrician
  • Don’t use extension cords or power strips
  • Make sure it is stable
  • make sure it can’t be knocked over
  • make sure your heater is safety-certified when you buy it
  • Don’t run the heater’s cord under rugs or carpeting
  • Keep the heater away from water