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Space heater blamed for fire that killed puppies

A space heater placed too close to combustible materials started a fire that burned down a century-old farmhouse in Upper Hillsborough, says the P.E.I. fire marshal's office.

Dog alerted family, who got out safely

The fire marshal ruled the fire accidental. (Pat Martel/CBC)

A space heater placed too close to combustible materials started a fire that burned down a century-old farmhouse in Upper Hillsborough, says the P.E.I. fire marshal's office.

The fire started early in the morning of Dec. 7, home was fully engulfed in flames when fire departments arrived.

A family of four escaped without injuries. They were alerted by the family dog, which survived, but they were unable to get her newborn puppies out.

The fire marshal ruled the fire accidental.

Space heater tips

The fire marshal also issued several safety reminders on the use of space heaters.

  • Ensure your smoke alarms are in good working order and installed properly. Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least one metre away from portable space heaters.
  • Space heaters should have a one-metre, kid-free zone. Teach kids not to play near space heaters.
  • Turn off portable space heaters when leaving the room and before you go to sleep.

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Corrections

  • A previous version of this story stated the mother dog also died in the fire, as fire officials initially thought. The family later clarified that the mother dog made it out of the house with the family and one six-month old puppy. Another six-month old puppy is still unaccounted for. Six newborn puppies died.
    Dec 19, 2016 5:19 PM AT