Fire officials say propane space heater destroys midtown Tulsa home in middle of remodel

TULSA - A home in the middle of a remodel was destroyed early Friday morning in a midtown Tulsa fire.

Firefighters say a propane space heater is to blame. Fire officials say the space heater was left on overnight, spewing gas into the air, and causing a fire storm.

Just before 5 a.m. Friday, neighbors called 911, reporting flames coming from a home near 31st and Utica.

Homeowner Mary Disenroth is living nearby during the renovation. Disenroth arrived at the scene while flames were still burning.

Later in the day, Disenroth went back to survey the damage and figure out "what's next" for rebuilding her dream home. She lived inside since 1979.

Disenroth says construction crews had been renovating the home for nearly a year, and she was about to move back in two months.

Tulsa Fire Cpt. Stan May said there's a lesson to learn here about space heaters. May said a space heater must be on a hard surface and three feet from anything else.

"People get careless or sometimes children move things in the house and move them to close," May said. "They just don't understand. After several hours of that heat, it can catch on fire."

May said there are different dangers with propane and electric heaters and you must check them every three years.

The risk with an electrical heater is in the power and extension cords.

"Inspect the cords and when they get to about 7 years old, they're probably too old. Unless you're going to have a licensed service person that says it's OK."

The risk with propane is creating carbon monoxide poisoning.

"You've got an awful lot of fuel inside your house that shouldn't be there. You shouldn't have a gallon or two gallons of kerosene in your house," May said.

It took firefighters nearly an hour to extinguish the blaze.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. No one was injured, but the home was a total loss.

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