Fire that destroyed two-family home in Holyoke caused by overloading electrical outlet

Hampden County

Photo: Holyoke Fire Department

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A fire that destroyed a two-family home on Oak Street in Holyoke Monday night was caused by overloading an electrical circuit.

According to Holyoke Fire Captain Kevin Cavagnac, crews were called to a fire in a 2.5 story duplex at 141 Oak Street at 8 p.m. Firefighters found smoke and heavy fire shooting from the top floor and attic of the home.

Cavagnac said seven people were inside when the fire started and were able to escape without injuries. It took crews nearly 45 minutes to put the fire out.

The Holyoke Fire Department is reminding the public that it’s dangerous to overload an outlet and heavy-duty appliances such as air conditioners, space heaters, and microwave ovens should never be plugged into power strips or extension cords. Cavagnac said the electrical resistance creates intense heat which can cause a fire.

According to Cavagnac, appliances should be plugged directly into a “dedicated” outlet that is served by a circuit breaker of the correct amperage. Adedicated” outlet means that the unit is the only thing plugged into the outlet and to keep combustible such as drapes, clothing, furniture, and bedding away from the outlet. The other outlet needs to be left empty, or the circuit could be overdrawn.

The Holyoke Fire Department and State Police investigators assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal determined the cause of the fire.

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