Space heater caused fatal fire, authorities say |

Space heater caused fatal fire, authorities say

A Nevada City man who died last month after his trailer caught fire has been identified.

Dean Moses, 61, died May 19 as a result of injuries he sustained when his mobile home caught fire on property near the 700 block of West Broad Street.

The fire started after Moses had apparently improperly wired a space heater with extension cords, which resulted in an electrical short that ignited the blaze, according to Sam Goodspeed, division chief of the Grass Valley/Nevada City Fire Department.

“It appears as though he had some kind of oil-filled, radiator-type space heater and had strung it together with a couple of extension cords back to a garage, and there was some kind of short in the equipment that would have caused the fire,” Goodspeed said.

Space heaters are statistically a significant fire hazard, with roughly 40% of fires nationally being attributed to space heaters, according to a report earlier this year by the National Fire Protection Association.

Firefighters who responded to the trailer blaze found Moses already deceased inside the home. It appears as though he had an unspecified medical condition that may have prevented him from being able to escape, authorities have said.

Moses had been living by himself in the trailer on that particular property for around 10 months, as he apparently had a relationship of some sort with a tenant at the house adjacent to the trailer, according to Goodspeed. The extension cords that may have sparked the fire seem to have been wired between Moses’ trailer and the garage at that residence, Goodspeed added.

Authorities are still awaiting the final results of an autopsy to determine the official cause of Moses’ death, according to Capt. Jeff Pettitt, with the Nevada County Coroner’s Office.

Stephen Wyer is a staff writer for The Union. He can be reached at

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