Space heater prompts propane tank to explode in Sand Lake fire
By Keith Landry, Reporter -
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
A raging fire lit up the night sky on the edge of Sand Lake in Orange County early Tuesday morning, as a shed was leveled and a home destroyed.
Marilyn Ogilvie owns the home and rented it to a couple. She woke up at five o'clock to a stunning scene just two doors down from her home.
"Just a ball of red, all I could see was red," she said. "I thought, 'My God! Is anyone alive in there?' So, we are blessed."
The couple escaped, but their pet rabbit did not survive. Orange County Fire and Rescue says the couple was using a portable heater in the shed to keep the rabbit warm. The fire caused a propane tank to explode.
Marilyn is sad about what happened.
"I'm more upset for the renters, because they have the loss and everything in it was there furniture. They didn't have renter's insurance."
Firefighters remind us to always turn off space and portable heaters when you leave the room and to keep combustible items at least three feet away from them.
Ogilvie says other families can learn a lesson from her fiery misfortune.
"Just bring the dogs, bunny rabbits, cats, whatever in the house, and don't try anything with electricity and stuff like that."
Firefighters tell FOX 35 News wind gusts of twenty miles per hour coming off Sand Lake fanned the flames, and they had to run their fire hoses 1,000 yards to the closest hydrant.