Fire Chief: When it comes to keeping yourself, pets warm ‘Don’t improvise heat’

Published 10:02 am Tuesday, January 16, 2024

NATCHEZ — Space heaters inside a barn are the likely cause of a Monday afternoon barn fire in Adams County that some animals did not escape from.

Natchez firefighters responded to the barn fire at approximately 12:30 p.m. at 32 Rose Hill Drive in Adams County. The blaze was under control by 1 p.m. Horses were rescued but 8 goats were lost in the fire, Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said.

No other injury or loss was reported.

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Natchez Fire Chief Robert Arrington said heaters were used to try and keep the animals warm.

“He did lose a few goats. all other animals were safely brought out,” Arrington said.

As temperatures stay below freezing through Wednesday morning, Arrington advised not to “makeshift heat” by improvising or plugging in large appliances to extension cords.

“Pets that you have that you can bring inside, bring them inside,” he said. “Make sure livestock have plenty of hay and a safe place to lay down. Bundle them up if you have to. Improvised heating ideas are the main cause of fires. Appliances on extension cords and overloading cords are the main cause of fires.”

For residences, Arrington said stovetops are not a good source of heating rooms. Using car heaters is also not safe if the vehicles are parked inside a closed garage.

“It’s ok if it’s your last option, but make sure the garage door is open,” he said.

Emergency responders are going to be out working today, but response times are not what they usually are because of icy road conditions. Safe practices to help keep emergency calls to a minimum, including not driving unless absolutely necessary, can help save lives and property.

“We have problems on icy roads just like everyone else,” Arrington said. “We’ll be out, but response times are not what they usually are.”