DALLAS -- A Dallas family lost their home of more than two decades in a devastating fire that appears to have been started by a space heater.

The fire broke out just after midnight Thursday on Palo Alto Drive in Southern Dallas. Two grandparents and their two grandchildren were inside, but all of them managed to get out safely.

The family told WFAA's crew at the scene that they had lived at the home for more than 20 years. One relative who arrived after the fire told us she had her old trophies from school inside the home that are now gone.

Dallas Fire-Rescue investigators have determined that the fire was an accident, caused by a pillow falling from a bad and landing on or near the space heater and igniting the flames.

Space heaters are being used more now that the temperatures have dropped, and they are one of the leading causes of home fires and fire-related deaths.

What should you know if you're going to use one:

  • Pick a good spot for it, like a level, hard surface away from furniture.
  • Buy a good space heater. Newer models have sensors that tell you when it's overheated, if it tipped over, or if an object is too close.
  • Don't leave your space heater unsupervised or around children.

The family told WFAA they are lucky to be alive and hope others listen to their warning about using space heaters.