By DREW GARDNER6 News Reporter
KNOXVILLE (WATE) - One person was sent to the hospital and a firefighter was injured Wednesday after a portable heater sparked a blaze at an East Knoxville home.
The Knoxville Fire Department says it happened around 2:30 a.m. on the 2800 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, which is located by Austin-East High School.
When crews arrived, they found heavy flames at the two-story home.
Two adult brothers living at the house got out before firefighters arrived at the scene.
"When I came down to heat some food up my brother came down and said the house is on fire and it was my bedroom," said Ronald Buford, who lives at the home.
Buford was transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center with non-life-threatening burns to his head.
A firefighter also sustained minor injuries when charred debris fell into his eye.
Investigators say the blaze was caused by a portable electric heater that got too close to combustible items in the upstairs bedroom.
"Anytime you've got a portable heater or any source of heat you want to keep a three foot radius and they think that's what the cause was," said Capt. D.J. Corcoran with the Knoxville Fire Department.
Officials say this is a reminder as the nights get colder to keep a close eye on any portable heaters.