Space heater likely cause of Valrico mobile home fire

Hillsborough County firefighters are blaming a space heater as a cause of a mobile home fire. 

Before 5 a.m., a working fire call came in at for the home on Pierce Christine Drive. All occupants were outside when fire units arrived and there were no reported injuries.

Fire officials say it took approximately 20 minutes to control the fire and it's believed to have been the result of a malfunctioning space heater.

Hillsborough County fire officials advise residents, using a portable space heater, to adhere to the tips offered by the National Fire Protection Association:

- Purchase a heater with the seal of an independent testing laboratory.
- Keep the heater at least 3 feet (1 meter) away from anything that can burn, including people.
- Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection.
- Place the heater on a solid, flat surface.
- Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over.
- Keep space heaters out of the way of foot traffic.
- Never block an exit.
- Keep children away from the space heater.
- Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet. Never use an extension cord or power strip.
- Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room or go to bed.