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Seattle, Washington – Fire Caused by Heater Malfunction

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Posted on April 23, 2019

Seattle, Washington (April 21, 2019) – A small contents fire was reported in a two-story restaurant at the 1300 block East Union Street. Smoke was reported to be coming from the building’s roof, and after investigating the source, firefighters worked to extinguish the small contents fire on the second floor of the building. No injuries were reported in the incident. The fire was later reported by fire investigators to be accidental, with the most likely cause being an electrical/mechanical malfunction of a natural gas water heater. Losses were estimated to be at $70k.

About Fires

Electrical causes remain to be one of the top causes for home fires according to the NFPA. Their Electrical Fire Reports to the U.S Fire Department since 2000 estimates around 45,000 to 55,000 cases of home fires being caused by electrical malfunction every year. Annual losses due to electrical fire result in 455 civilian deaths, 1, 500 civilian injuries and 1.5 billion of dollars in direct property damage. From these statistics, the risk from electrical fire is very real and should not be underestimated. As for the accidents themselves, the NFPA lists 63 percent involved wiring and related equipment, 74 percent cited some sort of electrical failure or malfunction, and wire or cable insulation was the first item ignited in 32 percent of electrical distribution or lighting equipment home structure fires. When reviewing fire safety for the home, one should not forget to check for possible electrical causes. While we take the role of electricity for granted, one should never forget to use electricity without caution. Apart from the risks like electrocution and electrical burns, the electrical system can also pose a problem to the home itself. Proper identification and handling of electrical problems will be a key in securing fire safety for the home and all those that live in it.