Tis the season for home fire safety | RecordCourier.com

Tis the season for home fire safety

With high temperatures in the 40s and lows in the teens, keeping warm is a priority whether you're human or a turtle.

On Wednesday, two fires forced residents from their homes in Topaz Ranch Estates and the Gardnerville Ranchos.

A fire on Walker View Road 2:30 p.m. Wednesday was started when flammable materials next to a woodstove combusted.

The homeowner saw the flames out of the corner of his eye and was able to evacuate himself and his dog.

Firefighters were still wrapping up the south county fire when a report came in of a smoke alarm going off at the Redwood Circle Apartments at 4:06 p.m.

In that instance, a heat lamp set up to keep the family turtle and frog warm had fallen into the plastic tub used for their habitat.

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The frog didn't make it, but the turtle survived, with firefighters saying it was still warm to the touch when they got it.

Colder weather typically brings reports of smoke in homes due to faulty furnaces or woodstoves, fires caused by improperly disposed ashes or portable heater malfunctions.

East Fork Fire investigator Capt. Terry Taylor said this is the season to be particularly careful with heating sources of all sorts.

"It's a really good idea that if you start a fire or turn on a heater that you not leave it going," he said.