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A Capitol Heights family was awakened by the sharp and crisp tones being emitted from their working smoke alarm. Just before 5:00 am, Tuesday, February 25, 2014, firefighters were alerted to a house fire in the 4700 block of Heath Street and arrived to find a 1 ½ story single family home with fire and smoke showing.
The family met firefighters in the front yard to inform them that all members escaped safely; however, the family dog was still inside. An electrical malfunction involving a surge protector appears to have ignited the fire in the basement.
The fire was extinguished within 15 minutes of arrival and caused an estimated $75,000 in fire loss. Unfortunately, the dog did not make it outside and perished in the fire.
This is the second fire in two days where early morning fires occurred, smoke alarms activated and all family members were able to escape their house safely. No injuries occurred in both incidents.
Lessons to be learned from this incident are that, Smoke alarms save lives!!!! Additionally surge protectors and/or multi-port extension cords can be dangerous if overloaded or combustibles placed on or around them. These electrical devices should be replaced every few years per manufacturer guidelines. Newer electrical surge protectors have better safeguards against fire.