A fire in the 1000 block of Cedar Street this morning is believed to have been caused by using an oven for heating purposes, Roanoke Rapids Fire Department Chief Jason Patrick said.
The house appears to be salvageable, he said.
The fire department received the call shortly before 2:30 a.m. and found a single-family residence with fire showing from two windows at the south side of the house.
Occupants informed firefighters everyone was out of the house and that the fire appeared to have started at the stove.
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Firefighters extinguished the fire downstairs and checked for spread upstairs and into the roof, a standard procedure that Patrick said is used in mill houses that are built using balloon construction. The fire had not spread from the first floor, he said.
The home sustained fire damage to the kitchen and one bedroom located on the first floor. The rest of the home sustained heat and smoke damage.
“Quick response by on-duty firefighters which consisted of eight C-shift personnel was instrumental in containing the flames and stopping the spread throughout the rest of the home,” the fire chief said.
After discussions with an occupant, the cause of the fire is believed to be due to the use of the oven for heating purposes. “We would like to take this time to remind everyone that stoves/ovens are not designed for heating purposes,” Patrick said. “Using gas ovens for heating can lead to a buildup of unwanted carbon monoxide inside the home while electric stoves can overheat from prolonged usage.”
Fire crews remained on scene for roughly two hours, conducting overhaul operations.
Four off-duty firefighters responded to assist with the fire. Also assisting the fire department were Halifax County EMS, Roanoke Valley Rescue Squad, and the Roanoke Rapids Police Department.