Ceramic Space Heater Fire in Greenbrier County, West Virginia Causes Death of Elderly Man
A fatal house fire has led to the death of a James Posten, an 86-year old man from Meadow Bluff. According to fire officials in Greenbrier County, the blaze commenced in the early morning hours last Monday in the mobile home owned by Mr. Posten on Beetle Bug Boulevard. While the West Virginia Fire Marshall’s Office will continue to investigate and issue a formal final determination on the cause of the blaze, responders and the early investigation strongly points towards a malfunctioning ceramic space heater in the West Virginia mobile home as the likely cause of the fatal fire. Unfortunately, as safety officials know, a large percentage of house fires annually are caused by the use of space heaters, which have a long-history of manufacturer liability and consumer misuse resulting in oftentimes-fatal consequences. To date, most space heater manufacturers have been subject to some form of recall or litigation holding their products as the proximate cause. However, to date, West Virginia Fire Marshalls have not issued a formal determination of the cause of the fire.
The fire, which began at the deceased’s mobile home located on Beetle Bug Boulevard which is within the municipal limits of Meadow Bluff, was noticed by a neighbor at or around 7:15 am on Monday morning, with a subsequent 911 call by the neighbor bringing out fire department first responders within minutes. The size of the fire at that time necessitated emergency fire department personnel and responders from Smoot, Rainelle, Clintonville, and the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s office deputies to respond to the scene to control the otherwise large fire that jeopardized surrounding residences as well. Unfortunately, by the time emergency responders did arrive, the residence was completely engulfed in flames with the resident still inside. Officials later located the body of Mr. Posten after the fire was extinguished.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission regularly updates consumers on recalls and known outstanding risks with individual products, with a specific section of their public safety information being dedicated specifically to promoting awareness about the safe use of space heater products. This is alongside regulatory advising to other federal commerce agencies that are responsible for ensuring the protection of consumers from manufacturers and designers of space heater products that present unreasonable and unsafe risks to homeowners during the course of ordinary usage. For individual consumers that have suffered property damage, or even the tragic loss of a loved one, legal counsel is one’s best resource for determining your rights in cases of presume product liability causing medical injuries or property damage.