By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As the weather begins to turn cooler, people are looking for a way to stay outside longer. And that means finding a heat source to stay warm outside while socializing at a distance.

Gordy Lewis knew he wanted to extend how long he could sit outside on his porch this year.

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“I’m kind home bound. It’s a wonderful place just to have company and guests come,” Lewis said.

It’s where he reads and it’s how the 93-year-old has seen friends and family since the pandemic began. His daughters convinced him to order a heat lamp early.

“Dad, if you’re going get one, you’d better get it in a hurry because pretty soon you won’t be able to find one at all,” Gordy said.

Fire tables sold out at Yardbird in St. Louis Park a month ago.

“This year it was almost like every other sale, it’s an easy add on,” Matt McCracken with Yardbird said.

McCracken said customers were looking for ways to add comfort to their outdoor set-up and a way to stay warm.

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“So they can be outside longer. A lot of requests at the end of the season for fire tables,” McCracken said.

The only ones left are in the showroom and must stay on the floor.

Lewis found his heat source online.

“It’s a marvelous set-up. It’s adequate for both of the two chairs but when it’s right over me it’s especially cozy,” Lewis said.

He says it will make the rest of the year more enjoyable.

“When it gets colder, I’m just going to put snuggies on and sit out here and watch the world go by,” Lewis said.

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Local hardware stores tell WCCO they’re also seeing the demand for heat lamps and fire pits and noted they’re becoming harder to get.

Jennifer Mayerle