Fire officials say following a few simple tips could have prevented a small bathroom fire over the weekend.
On Saturday, the Payson Fire Department received two calls around noon from concerned neighbors who saw smoke coming out of the vents of a home in the 2100 block of North Pratt Circle.
PFD, Houston Mesa and Hellsgate Fire responded and determined the fire was confined to the bathroom where either a space heater had been left on or candle left burning.
As firefighters worked to contain the blaze, the homeowners returned and tried to reenter the structure, however, officials stopped them before they could reenter.
By 1 p.m., firefighters had the blaze out.
“The fire was quickly controlled and confined to the room of origin, the bathroom, by the coordinated actions and quick response of the crews from the responding fire departments,” said Jim Rasmussen, PFD battalion chief.
Crews were able to save a dog, gerbil and fish, however, five birds died before rescuers could remove them, Rasmussen said.
Investigators determined the fire started from either a space heater left on, or a candle burning in the bathroom.
Rasmussen said it is important to always unplug portable electric heaters when not in use, and extinguish candles before leaving home.
With Oct. 5, the start of Fire Prevention Week, Rasmussen offered several other reminders.
• Keep doors to rooms closed when sleeping or leaving the house.
• Be good neighbors and be alert to unusual and suspicious indications to possible emergencies.
• Never try to enter or re-enter a structure that is or may be on fire.
• “Stay Fire Smart, Don’t Get Burned,” and remember that it is that time of year to check your heating devices and smoke detectors.