The cause of a fire that damaged a residence at 70 Montauk Ave. on Nov. 17 was a portable electric heater, Fire Inspector Vernon Skau said today.
Skau said the heater ignited bedding and caused significant damage to the second-floor apartment of the three-story structure. Three residents had smoke-related injuries and the fire displaced five residents on the second floor and two on the third floor.
Skau said space heaters should be placed at least three feet from combustible items. He also said residents should turn off space heaters when they leave the room or go to sleep, never use extension cords or power strips with space heaters, place the heaters on a level surface where they cannot be easily knocked over, and never run cords for heaters under rugs or carpets.
Residents may also acquire a smoke detector or carbon monoxide alarm by contacting the Fire Marshal's Office at 860-440-6666 or 860-440-6665.