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Space heaters overload extension cords, ignite fire

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, at 12:53 p.m.

A fire that broke out in the attic of a south Wichita house early Friday morning was caused by overloaded extension cords, a fire department official said.

The three people in the house at 4815 S. Minnesota were using space heaters to keep warm, Fire Marshal Brad Crisp said.

The space heaters “simply overloaded the power cords,” he said.

The fire, which caused an estimated $12,000 in damage, was confined to the attic space of the two-bedroom house built in 1956. The three adults in the house were able to escape without injury, Crisp said.

“We would hope the breaker would trip” when there was an overload, he said, but “something was wrong” that didn’t allow that to happen.

Heavy users of electricity such as air conditioners and space heaters should be plugged directly into an outlet, Crisp said.

“Those things are simply not designed to run off extension cords,” he said.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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