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      Heating experts warn of furnace dangers

      In the course of just three days, two local house fires have left behind ruble and claimed eight lives. Now, local heating experts are urging residents to protect themselves from deadly flames due to furnaces.

      Investigators ruled Tuesday's home explosion in Troy Township was likely due to a liquid propane leak. Larry Ice at All Seasons One Hour in Toledo says if not properly maintained, gas furnaces can also cause damage your home and potentially cause a fire.

      "If you smell gas leaking around your furnace, immediately shut it off and do not do anything and call a professional," said Ice. He also suggests changing the air filter, replacing thermostat batteries and doing a visual check of the furnace. Ice recommends looking for frayed wires or cracked hoses, or damage to the heat exchange - which could leak deadly carbon monoxide.

      Ice says homeowners may compromise their furnace warranty if they don't call a professional for repairs.

      "For safety, for peace of mind, for just knowing that you're going to make it through the winter and maybe finding that something was going to go - getting a tune up and getting a safety inspection is really the right way to go," said Ice. He says tune ups this time of year typically run anywhere from $79-$139.