Space heater the cause of devastating Toledo house fire - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Space heater the cause of devastating Toledo house fire

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

An East Toledo family lost everything they own in a devastating house fire early Sunday morning.

The home of Kevin and Amy Engel, and their two children, on the 1700 block of Gill Street caught fire around 3 a.m.

Toledo fire officials say flames were touched off by a space heater.

Most important, they point out, there were no smoke detectors.

"I couldn't see. I could barely breathe because of all the smoke," said Kevin Engel.

Mr. Engel, his wife Amy and their two children were inside the house.

"If my wife didn't wake up to go to the bathroom, my family would be dead," said Mr. Engel.

A 19-year-old neighbor who spotted the blaze was said to have guided the mother and her son out of the fire. Fire officials say the teen helped one of the victims out of a small bathroom window and another out a bedroom window.

The father and daughter, made it out on their own.

The Engels and the teen were taken to the hospital to be checked out, they were released and none of their injuries are life threatening.

The family is now left with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Still, they expect they'll survive the setback.

"You have to be really strong. Be there for our kids. Be there for yourself. Just have to be very strong," said Ms. Engel.

For now, the Engels are staying with Kevin's parents.

The American Red Cross is also offering lodging.

Mr. Engel believes his dog knocked a seat cushion on the space heater, triggering the fire.

The Engels are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they've received.

"I guess you could call them family because of people that we know that go to church. They're giving us donations of clothing and stuff. Amazing how people across the city are trying to help us even though they don't know us," said Mr. Engel.

A fund will be set up on Tuesday at Genoa Bank to help the Engels get back on their feet.

The home is considered a total loss and the city had to tear it down Sunday morning.

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