HOUSTON (KTRK) --A house caught fire in northeast Houston on Owens Street early Friday morning and investigators believe a space heater is to blame.
Israel Ledet, 75, says he fell asleep in a chair in his bedroom with the space heater on. When he woke up, he felt heat. Ledet says the smoke was thick, but he made his way to the door and got out safely. Ledet's home is destroyed.
"I say how could that be? Forty years I have been in this house. Why now?" Ledet said.
As temperatures drop Friday night into Saturday morning, thousands of Houstonians will turn on their portable heaters. The Houston Fire Department reminds you, be safe about how you use your space heater.
"The biggest safety tip I can give you when operating a space heater is distance. Make sure you give at least 3 feet distance all the way around any space heater," said Ruy Lozano with the Houston Fire Department.
Lozano says if possible, use an electric heater, not a gas heater. Most electric heaters have newer safety features; some kick-off if the heater falls over. He says try to be in the room while using your portable heater.
"It would be hard for me to tell you turn off your heating products before you go to bed, it's just not going to happen. What you really need to do is be safe," said Lozano.