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Home fire linked to faulty cord

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A fire caused by an overloaded extension cord resulted in $1,500 damage to a Carolina Street home Tuesday.

Columbus firefighters were called to 3340 Carolina St. at 11:07 a.m. Tuesday when home care nurse Chanda Tobias saw black smoke coming from an electrical outlet. Four people were in the home, including one who is disabled and uses a wheelchair.

Everyone and the family dog were outside the home when firefighters arrived.

Homeowner Lela Debusk was at work when the fire was reported and arrived after firefighters had put out the blaze.

Firefighters removed a section of drywall and discovered burned wiring, fire department Lt. Steve Ahrmann said. Using a thermal imaging camera, which detects heat signatures in hidden areas, they located the overheated wiring, which led them to an outlet in the kitchen.

In the kitchen, firefighters found an extension cord plugged into the wall outlet. The cord was being used to power two space heaters in the garage area. The fire was contained to a single wall receptacle.

Many fires are caused by extension cords, said Fire Chief Dave Allmon, who also responded to the fire at the home. Because of the exposed electrical wiring, power to the home was disconnected. The family made housing arrangements while repairs are completed.

Firefighters reminded residents that, when using space heaters, only plug power cords into outlets with sufficient capacity and never use an extension cord.

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