Elderly man killed in Wichita Falls house fire

WICHITA FALLS-- A deadly blaze claimed the life of an elderly Wichita Falls man over the weekend. It happened at 1602 Hampton Road.

Firefighters say 81-year-Gerald Edmond was found dead in his kitchen. His body was badly burned. Assistant Fire Marshal Justin Perron says an extension cord that was plugged into a space heater failed. The thin wires in the cord simply got to hot and within minutes the house engulfed in flames.

Piles of charred wood, clothes covered in suit, an a burned oven is pretty much all that's left from the fatal fire. Perron says Edmond, did not have natural gas in his home. Instead he used space heaters to battle the cold.  Perron says, "an extension cord failed after reaching a high temperature, once that failed it actually caught the wall on fire."

As we reported earlier this week, there's always a potential danger for space heaters and extension cords to malfunction.  Perron says if you are going to rely on a space heater you must use them properly and most manufacturers say to try and have a 3 foot perimeter completely around the space heater. Perron says, "A 3 foot minimum distance between the space heater and anything else whether it's decorations, bedding, curtains, furniture."

But most of all, the importance of smoke detectors can never be forgotten. Not having one may have cost Gerald Edmond his life.