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Port Arthur Fire Dept: occupants escape house fire started by burning incense stick

At 10:02 a.m. Friday, the Port Arthur Fire Department responded to a house fire on Gulfway Drive.

Firefighters found smoke exiting from the attic vents and were able to quickly extinguish the fire, Acting Deputy Chief Paul Washburn.

“All occupants of the home escaped uninjured,” Washburn said. “The home did sustain damage due to the fire which originated in a bedroom. Fire Marshals determined the cause of the fire to be a burning incense stick that was left unattended.”

Washburn said the fire department would like to remind citizens of the dangers of leaving any burning item unattended or close to items which may catch fire.

“When burning incense sticks, always use a holder, which is non-flammable and is designed to catch any embers that may fall,” Washburn said. “Please keep any burning item at least three feet away from items which may catch fire such as curtains and clothing. Also, make sure to fully extinguish any burning item before it is left unattended.”

Firefighters stress the importance of having working smoke alarms in the home. Smoke spreads fast and time matters. A working smoke alarm can alert you in case of fire and provide enough time for a safe escape.