Fire officials say space heaters should be plugged directly into the wall

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) A space heater plugged into a power strip is suspected of causing a fire on in south Wichita Wednesday morning.

Two people were taken to the hospital, one in critical condition after the fire on South Market, near Harry and Broadway.

As the colder temperatures begin to set in, Wichita fire officials are spreading the message to only plug electric heaters, or space heaters, directly into a wall outlet.

"Because space heaters require quite a bit more power to heat up the room, it's always recommended do not use any types of extension cords or power strips. Space heaters need to be plugged directly into an outlet itself to be utilized safely and correctly, " said Lt. Jose Ocadiz with the Wichita Fire Department.

A local pawn shop owner says if you're buying a space heater, you should also check the heater's safety features.

"But a lot of the newer heaters have built-in safety features on them, where if they tilt over to a certain degree, or whatever, they will shut down," said Curtis Marache of Cash Inn Pawn Shop.

Lt. Ocadiz says to also make sure the heater is a safe distance from furniture and pets - at least three feet.

People often use kerosene and wood burning heaters in the winter.

Fire officials say to make sure you have the proper ventilation for those to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. It's recommended you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home.