HAGERSTOWN, Md. (DC News Now) — A house fire in Hagerstown displaced a family of four adults and three children. All of them were safe, but fire officials said there are lessons to take away from the fire.
An air conditioner plugged into an overloaded electrical outlet caused the blaze.
“The fire was confined to the bedroom on the second floor,” said Hagerstown City Fire Chief Steve Lohr.
A working smoke detector alerted the occupants — the children woke up the adults, and they got out safely.
Lohr said that the working smoke detectors may well have saved lives.
“The cause of the fire was determined to be an overloaded electrical outlet — an air conditioner that was plugged into an outlet that was not rated for what it was carrying,” said Lohr.
Lohr said power strips are not built for plugging in heavy appliances like space heaters, air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers.
“I’m glad these folks are okay,” said neighbor Joseph Duguay. “There are no injuries. I see these folks out here every day. They are good family people. Thank God that nothing happened to them.”
Electrical service has been disconnected at the home and the American Red Cross is providing for the family.
“The Hagerstown Fire Department’s quick response is what saved them,” said Duguay.
“Happily, there were no injuries, either civilian or firefighter,” said Chief Lohr.
He emphasized the importance of safety precautions — including working smoke detectors — in the home.