Window AC Unit Blamed For Palm Bay House Fire

By  //  September 4, 2014

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DOG ALERTS OWNER OF SMOKE

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Photo courtesy of Palm Bay Fire Department.

PALM BAY, FLORIDA — A window air conditioner plugged in by an extension cord is being blamed for starting a fire that ended up causing about $10,000 worth of damage to a home on Wednesday

According to Palm Bay public information coordinator Yvonne Martinez, just before noon Wednesday Palm Bay Fire-Rescue responded to the 200 block of Huggins Avenue NW for reports of a residential structure fire with smoke showing.  When firefighters arrived there was smoke throughout the home.  They stopped the fire from spreading beyond the point of origin in the bedroom where the window unit was plugged in.  The home was occupied by an elderly woman and her dog who quickly alerted her of the smoke coming from the window air conditioner.

“Fortunately the dog got her attention and neither was injured,” said Battalion Chief Gene Harrell.  “Most of the damage is smoke damage but the house is not in good enough condition to stay in until the damage is cleaned up and repaired.” 

Once the fire was extinguished the assistant fire marshal investigated the cause which was pinpointed to the window unit being plugged in to an extension cord.  “The unit was old and in poor condition which pulled more amps through the cord,” said Assistant Fire Marshal Ron Bailey.

It is recommended when using window air conditioning systems to plug them directly into the wall outlet.  One firefighter suffered a minor injury during fire suppression operations.   The woman and her dog are staying with friends.


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