Space heater causes Lawton couple to lose home

Space heater causes Lawton couple to lose home
LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- A space heater cost a Lawton couple their home Wednesday when a fire broke out in their garage and spread to the rest of the house.

One homeowner was in the house during the fire but, fortunately, made it out safely.

That fire happened at 14th and Southwest Monroe in Lawton.

"He came knocking on my door and asked if we have a hose,” said Brian Abasta, neighbor. “So, I went and go look and we didn't. Then I went out and there was smoke outside."

Abasta lives next door and said he called 911 as soon as he saw the smoke coming from his neighbor’s home.

Unfortunately, firefighters didn't arrive quickly enough.

“Then it just went up in flames basically,” said Abasta.”

Firefighters said the house was engulfed in smoke and flames when they arrived close to noon that day.  

“From the garage to where it burned, it was all burning,” said Abasta. “I mean even the van was burning and it was pretty high."

Firefighters said it took a while to determine the cause of the fire until they could locate the space heater inside the garage.

Abasta said he felt terrible about his neighbor's loss and said a fire like this could have happened to anyone, including him.

"I use them all the time,” said Abasta. “You just want heat when it's cold and you'll do anything."

And although family members declined to speak, Abasta said he knows what that homeowner, who came to his door frantically looking for help, is feeling now.

"He was crushed I could tell,” said Abasta. “I mean everything. He just didn't know what to do. "

Authorities have confirmed the fire was accidental.

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