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Camden man dies in early blaze
A structure fire early Sunday has claimed the life of a man living in unincorporated Camden County near Kingsland.

Investigators said Arthur Daniel Brazell, 41, perished in the fire at 115 South Alvah Brazell Road, which was reported around 7:15 a.m.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, the single-wide trailer was engulfed in flames, said Dep. William Terrell, a Camden County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Investigators believe the blaze was started by a space heater in the home, and no foul play is suspected.

"The fire marshal knew the cause of the fire right away," Terrell said.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 25,000 fires started by space heaters are reported every year, resulting in more than 300 deaths annually. Another 6,000 people are treated for burn injuries, mostly in non-fire accidents.

While many people use space heaters to add warmth to a room, some use them as a primary heat source.

And that's where the dangers arise.

Glynn County Fire Marshal Jerome Johnson said most space heater fires are caused because the heaters are placed too close to flammable materials such as furniture, curtains and bedding. And the majority of heater fires occur when they are left unattended or people are sleeping.

Johnson said people should never place a space heater any closer than 3 feet from anything that could catch fire.

"A lot of people use them to lower heating bills and keep the chill out," he said.

"There are probably more in use than people realize."


Space heater safety tips

* Keep all space heaters at least 3 feet from household combustibles.

* Never leave a space heater unattended.

* Use space heaters only as a supplementary source of heat. They are not intended to replace a home's heating system.

* Do not use with extension cords.

* Periodically inspect the heater's cord for frayed wire or damaged insulation. Do not use a space heater with a damaged cord.

* Check periodically for a secure plug to outlet fit. If the plug is very hot, the outlet may need to be replaced. It could also be a sign of a home wiring issue.

* Heaters should be placed on flat, level surfaces and not on furniture or other areas where they may fall.

* Do not use heaters in damp, wet areas unless they are designed for use outdoors or in bathrooms.

* Look for the UL mark on the heater, which indicates the appliance has met UL's stringent safety standards.

* When using a liquid-fueled heater, use only the recommended fuel. The wrong fuel could burn hotter than the equipment is capable of handling and cause a serious fire.

* When refueling, turn off the heater and let it cool completely before adding fuel. Wipe away all spills promptly.

* Before purchasing a kerosene heater, check with the local fire department to ensure it is legal.

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