Union County Fires Underscore Auxiliary Heat Safety

CRESTON, Iowa  --  Two homes were damaged by fire in Union County on Tuesday morning.

In the town of Arispe, a mobile home was considered a total loss, but the family who lived there was able to escape without injury. In nearby Afton, an early-morning fire caused a couple to safely evacuate.

In both cases, the fires were caused by alternative sources of heat. Some type of space heater was in used in the home in Arispe, an the Afton fire began in the chimney.

“You know, you should have those things checked, be careful when you are using auxiliary heat,” said Jo Ann Duckworth, Director of Emergency Management in Union County. “Things like don’t use a generator in your house so you don’t gas yourself.”

Duckworth said Union County Emergency Management participates in the National Weather Service's Winter Awareness Program. She works to get the information out around the county. Duckworth said Tuesday was a good reminder of the importance of this awareness.

“Bad things happen to good people. Unfortunately this was just not a good day for a couple of families in our county.”