Homeowner’s attempt to warm up house leads to its loss

Homeowner’s attempt to warm up house leads to its loss

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Going from temperatures in the 90s to 30s caught many off guard recently.

Homeowners who normally have their furnace checked before temperature drops may have skipped it this year for a quick warm-up. One Bullitt County man is warning us all to rethink that after his furnace caught fire Sunday morning, destroying his home.

“It was cool in the house,” Darrell Woods said of his home Sunday morning.

Temperatures had dipped into the 30s early Sunday morning and started warming up in the 50s a few hours later. Woods, who’s lived in the home on Hexagon Lane since 1968, decided to turn his gas furnace on.

He told us, “I went back outside and was doing some work and I smelled smoke.”

Woods’ gas furnace had caught fire.

At first glance at the home from the exterior, the damage didn’t look so bad until the door was opened.

“I opened the door and you couldn’t see in there.” Woods said.

Fire officials took us inside the burned out home, which was full of soot, water damage and burned furniture. They showed us where the fire started in the furnace, which was laying on its side.

Although fire alarms went off sending Zoneton firefighters there in minutes, Fire Marshal Major Kevin Moulton said Woods is lucky he didn’t turn the furnace on before he went to bed.

Moulton explained, "There's a lot of heat damage and smoke damage."

Woods said when seeing his house on fire, “I thought well, I’ve done lost it.”

Moulton says it’s a good idea to have furnaces and fireplaces checked by a professional before using them.

“Every year you get build up and you might have birds that will build nests in your flu pipes or your vents that will clog your ventilation." Moulton said. "You might have clogs in your burners.”

Woods told us he got his system checked in April and usually gets it checked out before it gets cold, but says it was so warm recently, it threw him off this year.

“I’m just glad I didn’t have any animals in there or nobody else.” Woods saud.

Woods is staying in Lebanon Junction for now as his home is just a shell and not in a livable condition. He’s insured and is grateful he wasn’t inside.

Fire officials say a furnace check-up is also a good time to check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. You can check the walls and ceiling around your furnace for soot or discoloration that can indicate a problem. Keep a clearance of 36 inches to combustibles around any heating appliance, furnace or fireplace. Check furnace filters every 30 days and don’t wait longer than 90 days to clean it.

Moulton said residents should know how to turn off the gas to their homes in emergencies. If you smell gas, turn it off at the main valve and call the fire department or local gas company from a cell phone away from the house or from a neighbor’s phone.

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