Crews battle house fires in Pine Hills amid cold snap

Officials offer tips to safely use space heaters

PINE HILLS, Fla. – Orange County Fire Rescue crews battled two house fires in Pine Hills Tuesday amid the cold snap in the Orlando area, leaving more than a dozen residents displaced.

A spokesman for Orange County Fire Rescue said the first fire broke out around 9:30 a.m. in the attic of a home in the 5300 block of Grandview Drive after a furnace was turned on for the first time.

[SPACE HEATER SAFETY: Here's how to stay both warm and safe when using a space heater]

No one was injured, but six adults and one child were displaced after the fire, spokesman Michael Jachles said. The Red Cross was called to assist the family.

The second fire broke out at a home in the 5100 block of Liming Avenue shortly after 11 a.m., officials said.

Firefighters were still working monitoring hotspots at the home around noon to make sure the flames didn't start again.

Photos posted to the agency's Twitter page showed heavy smoke coming from the badly damaged home. 

Jachles said the fire was likely caused by a space heater plugged into an extension cord in an area of the home that didn't have proper ventilation. An investigation is still being conducted by state officials.

A woman and her grandchild were sleeping inside when the flames broke out, officials said. They were woken up by smoke alarms.

No one was injured, but another six adults and an infant were displaced, as the home was considered a total loss. The Red Cross was also called to assist them.

With the cold weather in the forecast, residents should be aware of the proper ways to use space heaters.

Click here to read the full list of space heater safety tips from the Kissimmee Utility Authority.

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