Home Electric Heater Caused Death of 88 Year Old Woman
While we enjoy and rely on many of our home electric heaters, every now and then we hear of tragedies happenning while using these heating appliances. Many of these accidents can be prevented and it is important to be aware of any dangers associated with using electric heaters in the home and practice simple safety measures.
Elizabeth Jane Ferry turned 88 New Year's Day and died two days later when her cluttered mobile home was consumed by flames. A manager at the mobile home park said Ferry's cat may have knocked over an electric heater, starting the blaze.
Ferry lived at the Leisure Lake Village mobile home park for 11 or 12 years, said Carol Pederson, who manages the park with her husband Terry.
"She lived alone. I didn't know her personally. She stayed to herself and didn't participate much at the park," Pederson said.
Petaluma firefighters received multiple calls about the blaze in unit 201 at 300 Stony Point Road at 3:09 p.m. Thursday. They arrived at 3:15 p.m., attacked the burning mobile home with water and were able to protect a neighboring home from the fire, Battalion Chief Jeff Schach said.
While fighting the fire inside the mobile home, firefighters found Ferry's body in a rear bedroom, Schach said.
The fire was controlled at 3:38 p.m. and the mobile home, valued at $50,000, was a total loss, Schach said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and it is unknown if there were working smoke detectors in the mobile home, Schach said.
Manager Terry Pederson said Ferry's trailer was cluttered with boxes and she used electric heaters to keep warm.
Ferry's cat also died in the fire and Pederson said he suspects it knocked over a heater that then caught one of the cardboard boxes on fire.
"That would be my guess," Pederson said. "It went up quick," he said about the blaze.
A neighbor saw the smoke and honked his vehicle's horn to alert Ferry, Pederson said. The neighbor tried to get into the trailer but there was too much smoke, he said.
Pederson said he and Ferry teased each other. "She was ornery," he said. Pederson said Ferry kept to herself and that her 88th birthday was on New Year's Eve.
Ferry was pronounced dead at 3:50 p.m. Thursday and an autopsy was scheduled for Friday, according to the coroner's office.
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"Elizabeth Jane Ferry turned 88 New Year's Day and died two days later when her cluttered mobile home was consumed by flames. A manager at the mobile home ...petaluma.patch.com/articles/fire-victim-88- lived-alone-with-cat"
Some of the safety measures are not just simple to learn but they are almost common sense. Nevertheless if any home electric heaters are being used in heating, it is so important that proper maintenance as well as appropriate heater safety precautions are observed.