Video: Wall Heater Nearly Causes Woman To Lose Home
NORTHEAST, Miss. (WCBI)- From outside, Mary Dunser’s house looks fine. But once you step through the front door, smoke and debris linger.
“The smoke detector came on and I went to look around to see. I didn’t smell any smoke and see anything. So I went to go back to sleep. Later when I went to get some water, on the switch in the dining room, smoke was coming out of it. I went outside and the whole thing was just burnt on the inside,” said Dunser.
Within minutes her living room, ceiling and kitchen were gone. Volunteer firefighters quickly got the fire under control. Mary was shocked when she heard the cause.
“They say it was the heater inside the wall that’s been there for years. We never used those heaters, I’ve never used them so I don’t understand why. But the fire department told me even though they’re cut off, they were still wired up so that was the reason why it started the fire,” said Dunser.
Firefighters say if you do have a wall heater, it’s important to keep your furniture and belongings at least 3 feet away from them. That way if it does come on unexpectedly, your home won’t be in danger.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is the older ones will come on by themselves when it gets cold enough outside. So this time of year, yeah it can come on. You just want to keep anything that will burn away from it,” said Anthony Colom with the Columbus Fire Department.
Having an electrician unplug the wires inside your wall is another alternative.
“Have someone who’s experienced and knows what they’re doing to properly disconnect it,” said Colom.
The Lowndes County chapter of the American Red Cross is helping Mary pay for a hotel room for a few days. Left with just the clothes on her back, she’s asking for only the simple things that we take for granted.
“Clothes ,shelter, coasts and stuff to keep me warm. Everything in there smells like smoke or is damaged. So if you could donate anything I’d appreciate it,” said Dunser.
If you’d like to help Mary Dunser, you can contact her at (662) 251-3323 or the Lowndes County American Red Cross at 662-842-6101. The link to their website is
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