SWANSEA - Four people were displaced from their home after a kerosene heater sparked a fire Tuesday afternoon, according to fire officials.
Swansea Fire Chief John McGuire said firefighters responded to a structure fire about 2:40 p.m. Tuesday at 11 Saint Clair Lake Drive.
"The homeowner came home and saw smoke coming out of her chimney," McGuire said, "and they don't have a working fireplace."
The 15 firefighters on scene were able to get the fire under control within 15 minutes, McGuire said.
No one was inside the home at the time of the fire, and a pet dog was safely removed from the home by firefighters.
McGuire said the fire was caused by a kerosene heater placed in the hallway being used to help heat the house. "The heater started the floor on fire and burnt a hole to the basement," he said.
McGuire advised kerosene heaters should never be used indoors since they are a fire hazard and emit carbon monoxide.
"People need to be cautious with any type of portable space heater," McGuire said.
The home sustained heavy smoke and heat damage and is not habitable, according to McGuire.
The American Red Cross is assisting the two adults and two children displaced by the fire.
Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or firstname.lastname@example.org.