Propane wall heater likely caused deadly Templeton fire, officials say

Investigators believe a propane wall heater caused the fire that destroyed a Templeton home Sunday evening, officials said Tuesday.

The heater, located in a bedroom of the one-story home at 4225 S. El Pomar Road, was positioned in front of a cloth-covered chair. When the heat penetrated the chair, it caught fire, Cal Fire Capt. Chad Zrelak said.

Two-thirds of the home burned, and 85-year-old Dorothy Thorne Hubbs was killed. An autopsy to determine the cause of death is scheduled for Wednesday, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff-Coroner’s Department.

She lived in the 2,000-square-foot ranch house with her husband, Earl Hubbs.

Earl Hubbs was taken to the hospital Sunday for observation for smoke inhalation, Zrelak said. His current condition is unknown.

Read more on this story in Wednesday's edition of The Tribune.