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The plunging temperatures have made heaters and other cold weather gear a hot commodity in East Tennessee.

Space heaters and other home weatherization essentials flew off store shelves before the arctic blast hit. At Ace Hardware on Clinton Highway, kerosene heaters are sold out, and there are only a few electric space heaters left.

"People by Sunday had bought all of our spigot covers, the styrofoam spigot covers, and we had about 200-300 customers coming in asking for those after we'd sold out. Sold all the kerosene heaters before we ever got, Sunday, before it ever hit we were sold out. Got what heaters we got left now," said Jacob Therrien, Ace Hardware Salesman.

If you're using a space heater, be very careful.

The US Fire Administration reports an estimated nine hundred portable heater fires in residential buildings are reported to fire departments each year, causing 70 deaths, 150 injuries and $53 million dollars in property loss.

Fire officials offered these tips:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, including the fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.
  • Have a three foot "kid free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
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