Man flown to burn unit after falling asleep next to fireplace, catching on fire

Man flown to burn unit after falling asleep next to fireplace, catching on fire

A man is being treated for severe burns to nearly 50 percent of his body after falling asleep next to a fire place and catching on fire in South Lake Tahoe.

Eric Guevin, the Fire Marshal for the Tahoe Douglas Fire Department, says just after midnight on Tuesday, December 5 that crews responded to the Ridge Tahoe Resort for a man who fell asleep next to a gas fire place and woke up on fire.

Guevin says the fire was limited to the man's clothing and the carpet. Crews were able to extinguish the fire and treat the man on scene. The victim was transported via air to the burn unit at UC Davis with severe burns to just under 50 percent of her body.

Fire officials would like to take this time to remind residents to make sure they're heating their homes safely by following these steps:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment, like furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable heater.
  • Have a three-foot "kid free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
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