(KSCJ photo)

The Sioux City Fire Department is issuing another warning about the use of space heaters after an early morning fire Thursday heavily damaged a home. Captain Ryan Collins says the fire started when an electrical circuit got overheated.

“One of the breakers in the electrical panel continued to trip even though they continued to reset it and then they started smelling smoke seeing a light haze inside,” he says. “And then once they got out of the structure they could see through the attic vents that there was a fire in the attic,” Collins says. The residents did get out safely.

Collins says these types of fired happen more often when it turns cold and people plug in space heaters.”Space heaters typically will pull anywhere from 12 to 15 amps which will quickly use up all the available electrical power on a circuit — most circuits are 15 amps or 20 amps,” Collins says. “So we want people to be cognizant of when they’re using space heaters that they don’t overload those circuits. Make sure that you only have one space heater plugged into an outlet.”

Four children died in a Mason City fire in November after firefighters say an electrical power strip overheated. Firefighters say too many space heaters and other appliances plugged into a power strip can cause it to overheat.

(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)