Frayed cell phone charging cord may have caused Hope fire

Firefighters are warning residents about the dangers of frayed cell phone charging cords,  believed to be the trigger for a fire that caused extensive damage to a Hope home on Tuesday.

Damage to the rental home at 442 Market St. in Hope is estimated at between $50,000 to $70,000, firefighters said. Investigators said the fire is believed to have started just before noon Tuesday in the home’s bedroom, where a cell phone with a frayed charging cord was left plugged in between pillows on a bed.

“What happens is that those cords are as good as long as they are in good shape,” said Bartholomew County Fire Investigator Gene Wever. “But when they get wadded up, or pets chew on them or they are damaged, they are dangerous.”

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.