An electric space heater was determined to be the cause of a house fire in Charlie Thursday afternoon. No one was home when the fire broke out.
The house, located at 211 N. Central St., is the home of the Phillip Sullivan family. Phillip, who is in the U.S. Air Force, was out of town Tuesday. Wife Melinda Sullivan and son Tyler, a senior at Petrolia High School, arrived shortly after the fire was reported.
Clay County Deputy Ronnie Pullin said damage was limited to a laundry room and the attic in the north side of the house. A space heater used to warm the laundry caused some clothing to begin to burn. As the fire broke into the attic, it burned through a water line. Water sprayed into the room, suppressing the flames.
The rest of the home received smoke damage.
A member of the Charlie-Thornberry VFD who was hauling hay in a nearby pasture reported at the fire about 4:30 p.m. Units from the Charlie-Thornberry and Dean Dale Volunteer Fire Departments responded. Damage is estimated at $30,000.
The Sullivan family will receive assistance from the military with housing provided by Sheppard Air Force Base.