We put in a cheap gas fireplace a few years ago for auxiliary heat after the last big ice storm. We have natural gas here, and I've only ever had the gas go off once in my long and boring life (and that was in Ohio about 16 years ago). A gas fireplace doesn't need a vent pipe as long as the room you're installing it in has enough cubic feet. It doesn't have a blower so it's not like the furnace, which won't run without electricity. And it smells a lot better than a kerosene heater.
"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." - Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."