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Heat lamp sparks house fire; turtles die

Published: Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 5:03 p.m. CDT

COAL CITY — While a family moved into their new home Thursday, a fire started but was contained to one room.

Coal City Fire Protection District responded to a call for a small structure fire at 55 W. Walnut St. shortly after 8:30 a.m., said Coal City Fire Department spokesperson Nick Doerfler. The fire was out by 8:45 a.m.

The family was moving in at the time, he said, and had a heat lamp on top of a plastic tortoise cage, which is believed to be the cause of the fire. The two tortoises did not survive the fire, but the fire department was able to save a cat.

No people were injured during the incident.

The fire started in a room at the lower level of the residence and was contained there. The fire caused about $1,000 worth of damage, plus heat, water and smoke damage, Doerfler said.

He said the Coal City fire district reminds people to keep heat lamps and space heaters at least three-feet from anything made from combustible materials.

Wilmington, Braceville and Morris fire districts assisted Coal City.

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