With the return of the home heating season comes a warning for homeowners from the state Fire Marshall’s office.
Paul Kemp knows first hand how fast fire can spread. This week, fire ripped through his Des Moines home while he slept. He has his dog, Sheba, to thank for saving him.
"You know, I'd been watching TV and I fell asleep on my couch," Kemp recalls. "And Sheba just started barking and jumping on me. And did it to wake me up and I looked up and on the other side of the living room, you know, fire was coming from the floor."
Within minutes of Sheba waking him, Kemp says the home was engulfed in flames. Fire officials say, this is the time of year when they see an increase in house fires. They warn homeowners to have furnaces checked out at least once a year by a professional.
"Typically what you have in a furnace is it's not maintained, seems like to be the number one thing. A part or a piece goes bad or it's overgrown with dirt and dust and you can have a little flash fire and that catches something," says Dan Wood with the State Fire Marshall's office.
Wood also warns homeowners to keep space heaters properly vented. Investigators still haven’t determined the cause of Kemp’s house fire.