From the Tyler Fire Department:
TYLER (KYTX) - The Tyler Fire Department responded to a two-alarm structure fire this morning at 1217 S. Glenwood. The initial call was received at 10:42 a.m. and the caller reported seeing smoke coming from the house. The first unit saw heavy smoke coming from the attic when they arrived on scene and called for a second alarm. Five engines and one Ladder Company, along with a District Chief and an Investigator, responded to the scene.
Fire investigators with the Tyler Fire Marshal's Office have indicated that the fire originated in the kitchen area of the home. Investigators believe that the fire burned for an extended period of time in the wall space before it gained access to the attic area. Initial findings indicate that the cause is electrical in origin and may have involved one of the homes appliances.
Citizens are reminded to be cautious and keep safety in mind when dealing with electricity in the home. Remember to call a qualified electrician or your landlord if you notice any of the following conditions:
- Frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
- A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
- Discolored or warm wall outlets
- A burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance
- Flickering or dimming lights
- Sparks from an outlet
Based on recent data between 2003 and 2005, the United States Fire Administration reports that over 28,000 residential building electrical fires occurred annually. This accounted for approximately $995 million in property loss, 1000 injuries, and 360 deaths. Additional safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association include:
- Have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician.
- When you are buying or remodeling a home, have it inspected by a qualified electrician.
- Only plug one heat-producing appliance (such as a coffee maker, toaster, space heater, etc.) into a receptacle outlet at a time.
- Major appliances (refrigerator, dryers, washers, stoves, air conditioners, etc.) should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Extension cords and plug strips should not be used.
- Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) are a kind of circuit breaker that shuts off electricity when a dangerous condition occurs. Consider having them installed in your home. Use a qualified electrician.
- Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to reduce the risk of shock. GFCIs shut off an electrical circuit when it becomes a shock hazard. They should be installed inside the home in bathrooms, kitchens, garages and basements. All outdoor receptacles should be GFCI protected.
- Test AFCIs and GFCIs once a month to make sure they are working properly.
- Check electrical cords to make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpets. Extension cords are intended for temporary use. Have a qualified electrician add more receptacle outlets rather than using extension cords.
- Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture. There should be a sticker that indicates the maximum wattage light bulb to use.
Citizens are also encouraged to have an adequate number of smoke alarms installed throughout their home. For more information about fire prevention and safety in the home or workplace, please contact the Tyler Fire Marshal's Office at 903-535-0005.