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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 11:59am

Man falls asleep with fireplace on, wakes up to burning home

KTSM/KDBC
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 10:11am

A burning fireplace is believed to be the cause of a house fire in West El Paso late Monday night.

The fire started at a home on Ringold Rd. near Thorn and Redd Rd. about 11:15 p.m. Monday.

According to Battalion Chief Ben Ibarra with the El Paso Fire Department, the man inside the home fell asleep with the wood-burning fireplace on. He said the flames spread from the fireplace to the ceiling and onto the back porch.

The smoke detector in the home went off, but it wasn't enough to wake the man from his sleep.

"He was asleep. The smoke detector did go off, but it didn't wake him up. He was alerted by neighbors that came to the door, and they woke him up. He was able to evacuate safely, no injuries," said Ibarra.

Ibarra said the fire could have been prevented and offered some advice.

"Properly maintain your fireplace. Have it inspected, have the flue cleaned out regularly, make sure it's in proper working condition, and don't go to sleep and leave the fire unattended," he said.

The man was unable to stay in the home. He and his dog are staying with family.

Damages are estimated at $15,000.

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