HOUSTON -

A Houston homeowner had to find a place to stay overnight after a space heater sparked a fire at his home.

The fire started around 9 p.m. on Cathedral and Wilmington on Houston's south side.

"I went to the store and when I returned, I smelled smoke," said homeowner E.J. Garrett.

Garrrett went into his room and saw a fire burning where his space heater once stood. He tried to put it out, but was overcome by the fire and smoke.

He said he ran out of the house and used a neighbor's phone to call 911.

The Houston Fire Department said the space heater likely shorted out and started the fire.

Firefighters offered this advice to people using space heaters:

- Do not overload outlets.

- Do not use extension cords with space heaters.

- If the cord is hot to the touch or you smell something burning, turn the heater off right away and unplug it.