Overloaded extension cords cited in garage fire

A fire in a detached garage caused about $1,000 in damages on the north side of Columbus Sunday night.

According to reports from the Columbus Fire Department, firefighters were called to the 4700 block of Breckenridge Drive at about 11:08 p.m. Sunday night after a homeowner heard a smoke alarm in the detached garage. The homeowner discovered smoldering insulation in the attic and called 911.

Firefighters discovered that the breaker for the garage had tripped and that there was smoldering in the insulation and charring in three sections of OSB board. Firefighters moved property from the garage and then collected the boards and insulation, which they soaked in water.

Investigators discovered a heavily damaged electrical connection in the attic with several extension cords plugged in. They believe that the cords were over-powered, causing intense heat which melted the connection. That led to the smoldering in the insulation.

The cause of the fire was ruled accidental and no injuries were reported.

Firefighters want to remind you that extension cords should only be used for temporary power. Long-term use can cause them to break down and possibly lead to a fire.

More extension cord safety tips:

  • Extension cords should never be placed under a rug where foot traffic could damage the insulation of the cord.
  • Always follow the manufactures recommendations for appropriate extension cord use.
  • Ensure that the cord gauge is appropriate for its intended use.
  • Not all extension cords are the same in terms of the amperage and wattage that they are intended to carry.

Photos courtesy of Columbus Fire Department.