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Heating Unit Catches Fire When Homeowner Makes Common Mistake

A South Abilene family learned a valuable lesson when insulation in their home heating unit caught fire. It happened just before eleven AM Thursday morning. The incident is serving as a reminder to families, if you don't give your home heating system a thorough check, it could be posing a major safety risk.<br>
Judy Partee thought she was doing everything right when, for the first time all year, she turned on the heat inside of her home.

"I hadn't had it on but I turned it on this morning. I decided it was warm enough so I'm gonna air the house out, let it burn up," said Partee. "You know, natural...dust off."

But what she thought was dust, turned out to be danger.

"I started seeing smoke, and the smoke alarm went off, and I grabbed the girls, I grabbed the dog and I called 9-1-1," said Partee.

"There was actually some fire inside one of the ducts," said Abilene Fire Captain Tony Morris.

Insulation that had been sitting for months had caught fire.

"He said, did I check it before I turned it on," said Partee. "And I said, no I didn't think about it."

It's a common mistake that can cause an entire home to go up in flames.

"It's a good idea to have those things checked out by an AC repair man before you turn them on," Morris says.

Lucky for Partee and her family, everyone made it out safe, and damage was minimal.
But she's learned a lesson she wants others to remember.

"It could have turned into worse because it was on fire," said Partee.  "I couldn't see any flames but the smoke was bad enough that it scared me to call the fire department."
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