Hastings firefighters are reminding citizens of space heater safety following the destruction of a recreational vehicle Tuesday in the 400 block of East Second Street.

A fire was reported about 12:52 p.m. in an RV parked behind 418 E. Second St., along the railroad access road.

By the time firefighters arrived, the RV was fully engulfed in flames. Heat from the fire scorched a vehicle parked on the access road near the RV.

Troy Vorderstrasse, assistant chief at Hastings Fire and Rescue, said no injuries were reported in the blaze.

The RV had been in use recently, but no one was inside when the fire started.

Vorderstrasse said firefighters determined the fire was accidental in nature, due to a combustible item near a heat source — a space heater.

The incident serves as a reminder about the need for caution when using space heaters.

With colder temperatures forecast for the next few days, Vorderstrasse wanted to remind citizens about safety tips.

He said people should keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from heat sources. Space heaters shouldn’t be plugged into an extension cord.

The National Fire Protection Association offered additional tips on its website, www.nfpa.org:

  • Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn, including people.
  • Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection.
  • Place the heater on a solid, flat surface.
  • Make sure the heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over.
  • Keep space heaters out of the way of foot traffic.
  • Never block an exit.
  • Keep children away from the space heater.
  • Plug the heater directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.
  • Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when
  • you leave the room or go to bed.

“It’s a good reminder because it’s that time of year,” Vorderstrasse said. “We sometimes see more fires when it gets colder. A number of times, those (space heaters) are the cause of house fires.”

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