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Space Heater Blamed in Early Morning Fire

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(Tunica, MS) Steve Ward heard a commotion about 4:20 am Monday morning, then a frantic knock at his door.

He found his next door neighbor in bad shape, begging him to call 911 because his home was on fire.

"Ward told us, "He said he wasn’t hurt and once I showed him his hands were burned and the back of his head and his jacked was melting in the back, he realized he needed an ambulance."

Firefighters arrived quickly to find 68-year-old Tommy Moore in such bad shape, they called Hospital Wing to airlift him to The MED's burn unit.

Tunica Fire Chief Scott Goff couldn’t talk on camera because he was out-of-town, but he said by phone Mr. Moore suffered severe first and third degree burns on his face and hands.

He also said it appeared a space heater started the fire that spread heavy smoke throughout the man’s mobile home.

In fact, we’re told firefighters found three separate hot spots near what the neighbor said were new brand-new space heaters and a hot plate.

Ward said his neighbor was lucky to get out alive, ”It only takes, like, 6 minutes for a trailer to be fully engulfed, so we were glad it didn’t become more serious than it did."

Fire officials urge extreme caution with space heaters, warning anything that comes in contact with them could catch fire, with deadly results.