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SAFD: Fire at retired officer's house ruled accidental

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SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Fire Department has ruled the cause of a fire at the home of retired San Antonio police officer to be accidental, although they cannot pinpoint the actual cause.

A police spokesperson confirmed that retired officer David Lerma, his wife and their two grandchildren were not at home at the time of the fire.

When firefighter arrived around 7 p.m. Sunday in the 400 block of Furr Drive, they found at least one space heater in use. They also discovered an oven door that was left open in an apparent effort to warm the home.

"Oftentimes people don't have central heating and they'll rely on their oven or stove to heat their home. That's really a bad idea. It can not only be a fire danger, it can also be a carbon monoxide danger," said Christian Bove, San Antonio Fire Department spokesman.

Bove also said even though the cause is unknown, it should be a reminder to never leave space heaters unattended and to turn them off before going to sleep.

Damage to the home is estimated at $40,000.