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Heater causes fire

SALYERSVILLE – As a Magoffin County man was climbing up a ladder to put away his Christmas decorations in the garage, his kerosene heater ignited, but quick action and good Samaritans kept the fire from spreading to the rest of the house.

Midday Friday, January 5, Jarred Ryan Gibson was putting up his Christmas decorations in the attic in the garage, and as he was climbing the ladder, approximately 10 feet behind him a kerosene heater blew up, and in 10 seconds, flames were touching the 12-foot ceilings and rolling out the opened garage door.

“I immediately yelled for my wife to call 911 and ran and kicked the heater out of the garage and out onto the lawn,” Gibson said. “I ran back into the garage to turn on the water spigot, but the hose was outside of the garage and froze off.”

 Luckily, the heat from the flames melted the water hose in two, unthawing the frozen water and allowing him to fight the fire with water.

“As soon as I picked up the water hose, I saw two men running towards the house,” Gibson said.

Mark and Curtis Cole happened to be driving by Gibson’s house on Burning Fork and stopped to help.

“After that, me and the two gentlemen fought the fire with the water hose and smothering it with items we could find in the garage, and we were finally able to contain it,” Gibson recalled.

The fire department arrived shortly after they were able to extinguish the fire.

The garage was severely damaged in the fire, and the house (attached to the garage) sustained substantial smoke damage, however, Gibson said it could have been much worse.

“I had the garage door open and the metal shielded it from catching the house on fire and gave us the opportunity to fight the fire,” Gibson said.

Gibson’s wife, Emily, who is over eight months pregnant, was also home at the time of the fire, but he said he got her out immediately. 

“Everything in the house is covered in soot, and we lost over 80 cases of diapers in the garage, but that’s why we carry insurance,” Gibson said. “We have a professional company coming in to clean out the smoke damage, and I thankful it didn’t turn out as bad as it could have.”

Gibson was taken to Paul B. Hall for smoke inhalation and mild burns, and Curtis Cole was transported to Highlands Regional Medical Center for burns to his leg, Gibson said. 

“I’m just thankful no one was seriously hurt and God was watching us that day,” Gibson said. “We can get it cleaned, but you can’t replace people.”




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