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Propane heater ignites flames in student tent pitched outside Hilton


This news story was published on January 22, 2016.
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Tent fire (photo from city of Ames)

Tent fire
(photo from city of Ames)

AMES, IOWA – Students camping out at Ames’ Hilton Coliseum waiting for a basketball game days away used a propane heater inside a tent which erupted into flames, and firefighters raced to the scene to douse the flames.

Ames Fire Department responded to a tent fire outside of Hilton Coliseum early morning today (Friday Jan. 22). There were no injuries, and the fire was extinguished quickly using approximately 50 gallons of water.

The fire was reported around 3:30 a.m. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they discovered flames coming from two 10-foot by 10-foot shade structures that had been pushed together to make a 10-foot by 20-foot space. The sides had been draped in plastic tarps, and the interior was being warmed by a propane heater. The cause of the fire was combustible material too close to the heater. Estimated damage of the tents and contents is $1,000.

The tent was one of several currently occupied by Iowa State University students with tickets to the ISU men’s basketball game on Monday, Jan. 25, against the University of Kansas Jayhawks. Students camping around Hilton Coliseum have general admission tickets and are seeking the best seats to watch the game.

Ames firefighters are educating students on the dangers of having plastic, nylon, or other material close to heating elements. “We want the campers to stay safe while they are trying to stay warm,” said Deputy Fire Chief Rich Higgins. “They should make sure any heating devices being used are safe for interior space, and never have a portable heating device in front of an exit.”

The Ames Fire Department recommends never leaving portable heating devices unattended.

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One Response to Propane heater ignites flames in student tent pitched outside Hilton

  1. Avatar

    the real fred Reply Report comment

    January 22, 2016 at 11:45 am

    …..and that’s why they call the clowns.