LCFD: Space Heater Responsible for Deadly Fire

Las Cruces, NM - Las Cruces Fire Investigators believe that a space heater that overloaded a surge protector was the cause of the fire that took a 68-year-old Las Cruces woman Saturday morning.

Investigators say Mary Pavey, 68, lived alone in her home in the 1100 block of Circle Dr. and was found unresponsive in the dining area of her home early Saturday morning. She was taken to Memorial Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Fire Investigators think that Pavey had a space heater plugged into a surge protector near the entryway of her house. They think that the surge protector overheated and caught nearby items on fire. The fire was contained to the entryway of her home, but heavy smoke filled the home.

Pavey was likely overcome from the smoke inside the home, according to fire investigators.

The Las Cruces Fire Department recommends these safety tips:

  • Do not plug space heaters into surge protectors or extension cords.
  • Do not rely on a space heater as the sole source of heat for a home.
  • Keep space heaters a safe distance away from combustible materials.
  • Use caution when using a 3-prong to 2-prong electrical adaptor.
  • Avoid using spliced, cut or otherwise damaged power cords.
  • Follow all manufacturer instructions on electrical devices, power cords and surge protectors.
  • Regularly check on elderly family members and neighbors to ensure their welfare.

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