Lafayette fire investigators determined a Tuesday morning house fire in the 200 block of Friendship Street started in a plastic heating device designed to warm water, according to the Lafayette Fire Department.

Fire investigators determined once the water evaporated from within the plastic container, the appliance ignited the plastic and, eventually, the floor carpeting and other combustible items, said Alton Trahan, Lafayette Fire Department spokesman.

Homeowners Mary and Joseph Pickett were both at work when the fire started and forgot to turn off the appliance when they left, Trahan said.

Mary Pickett said at the scene she and her husband have lived in the house for 30 years and believe it is a total loss.

Firefighters responded to the home around 10 a.m. after a neighbor reported heavy smoke coming from inside the home, Trahan said.