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Mistakes that can turn a space heater into a torch that sets your house on fire

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It can happen before you know it, and the results could be tragic.

A space heater placed in the wrong spot, plugged in the wrong way can turn into a torch that sets your entire house on fire. Montgomery County Fire officials demonstrating to 7 On Your Side how quickly a space heater mistake can cause a room to go up in flames.

A fire will double in size every minute.

The biggest mistake people make is plugging the space heater into an extension cord.

"If the cord is hot, if it gets in contact with nearby combustibles, a rug, newspaper whatever, it could start a fire," Montgomery County Fire spokesperson Pete Piringer said.

Mistake number two placing the heater itself, especially kerosene or gas heaters too close to a chair or other items that can catch fire easily.

"If you think about a trash can that's on fire, a minute later it may be some furniture. A minute later it may be a room," Piringer said.

And mistake three, leaving a space heater on for extended periods of time.

“That's when you have a problem, when it's been working a long time," Piringer said. "It's gotten hot and people may be unaware that it's on .”

just a little caution can prevent a huge catastrophe.

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