(CBS) – This week’s fatal fire in Hammond, Ind. is a terrible reminder of how dangerous space heaters can be, if they’re not used properly.

CBS 2’s Chris Martinez talked with fire officials in Carol Stream who demonstrated the ways they can go wrong.

Add heat, with perhaps a lapse of judgment, and in minutes a home can be on fire.

Carol Stream’s fire chief has seen it time and again. Fabric accidentally covers or is draped over a space heater.

“They are not planned events, and next thing you know we’ve got a smoky fire and then a full-flamed fire,” Chief Rick Kolomay says while demonstrating fire scenarios with propane and electric space heaters.

Among the advice: If you’re not in the room, don’t leave the heater running.

Also, keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that could catch fire.

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