An autopsy Monday afternoon confirmed that the victim from Friday night’s fatal fire died as a result of the inhalation of smoke and toxic gases from the fire that destroyed his home. Family members have identified the victim as 55 yr old Alex Krueger, who lived in the home with his mother and father. Both his parents escaped the fire, but his mother remains hospitalized in serious condition in the Hermann Hospital Burn Unit.
MCFMO Investigators are continuing their investigation, but have learned that the fire started in a bedroom where a space heater was plugged into an extension cord along with other electrical appliances. The investigation has also revealed that there were no working smoke detectors in the home.
With cooler weather, the number of home fires spike dramatically peaking in the months of December, January and February. Just last week, 57 Americans lost their lives to fire. In many of these fires, the use of alternative heat sources such as electric space heaters and the lack of working smoke detectors proved to be a deadly combination. National statistics reveal that space heaters, whether portable or stationary, account for one-third (33%) of home heating fires and four out of five (81%) of home heating fire deaths.
In addition to maintaining a 3 foot clear space around your space heaters from anything that will burn, space heaters should be turned off before you go to bed. Having working smoke detectors in your home cuts your chance of dying in a home fire by 50%.