Long Beach Fire Department respond to illegally converted garage fire in North Long Beach

At 2:20 AM Long Beach Fire units responded to reports of a structure fire on the 100 block of Barclay Street in North Long Beach.

Upon their arrival, they found a detached garage that was well involved with fire. During fire operations, it was determined that the garage had been illegally converted to a living area. The investigation also determined that the fire was caused by a portable space heater that was too close to combustible material. There were no injuries reported.

Remember, garages are not to be used as living quarters. This is illegal and deadly! If you are aware of illegal garage conversions, please contact the Long Beach Fire Department and report it immediately. We will work with Code Enforcement and take appropriate action to protect our community and those that call Long Beach home.

Also, when using heating devices, it is critical to maintain at least 3 feet (36 inches) of clearance from any combustible material.

Heaters must have a thermostat to automatically shut down once the unit reaches its desired temperature.

Heaters must have a tip over automatic shut down feature.

If you will be using a portable space heater, ensure you follow these safety tips:

Do not place heaters under desks or other enclosed areas.

Heaters must be monitored when in operation.

Plug the heater directly into a wall receptacle. Never plug it into an extension cord.

Heaters need to be monitored daily. Those heaters missing guards, control knobs, feet, etc. must be taken out of service immediately and repaired by a competent person.

Do not use heaters in rooms that will not be continually occupied.

Keep space heaters away from exit ways, walkways and paths of travel.

Do not use space heaters in wet areas like bathrooms or kitchens.

Do not use portable space heaters if small children are expected in the area.

Only use devices approved for indoor use if using the device inside.

Please take extra precaution to stay safe in 2017.