Electric Blanket Blamed for House Fire

Officials say it's a good idea to check your outlets.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    When 31 McKinney Fire Department personnel arrived at the 2800 block of Cedar Ridge on Dec. 16, they found a two-story home completely engulfed in flames.

    Investigators determined an electric blanket left "on" after use overheated, caught fire which spread throughout the house. No one was injured in the fire, but the McKinney Fire Department is now spreading the word to prevent similar accidents from happening.

    Stacie Durham of the McKinney Fire Department understands the significance of electrical failures and malfunctions as well as leaving small appliances in the "On" position after use.

    "Between 2003 and 2007, U.S. fire departments responded to 51,000 residential structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction," Durham said. "These fires resulted in 490 civilian deaths, 1,440 civilian injuries and $1.3 billion in property damage. Fifty-three percent of these fires involved some type of equipment or appliance, such as a range, washer or dryer, or space heater."

    Although no one was injured in the Cedar Ridge fire, Durham and the rest of the fire department encourage individuals to turn off small appliances when they are not in use and call an electrician or landlord if there are any problems or concerns with electrical outlets or appliances.