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GASTONIA, N.C. -- A heating system malfunction led to a house fire in Gastonia Monday morning.

Around 6 a.m., two dozen firemen from the Gastonia Fire Department responded to the 2100 block of Lowell Bethesda Road to find heavy fire and smoke billowing from the roof of the residence.

The firemen were able to bring the blaze under control within 20 minutes.

The woman of the house heard popping noises in the ceiling, and awoke her husband and children in time to safely flee the home. The family dog was also able to escape unharmed.

The Gastonia Fire Marshal's Office has determined the cause of the fire to be a malfunction in the home's heating system, which was located in the attic.

Authorities say the home sustained an estimated $150,000 in damages.

The Gastonia Fire Department says heating devices are the second leading cause of house fires in the United States, second only to cooking-related fires. Officials urge citizens to have their heating devices checked annually by a certified technician to ensure proper function.

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