HFD: Electrical short caused house fire in the Heights

Published On: Jul 18 2013 03:10:11 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 19 2013 10:10:25 AM CDT

Sky 2 was over the scene as firefighters Thursday afternoon battled flames at a house in the Houston Heights.

HOUSTON -

Officials said Thursday’s house fire in the Houston Heights was caused by an electrical short.

Firefighters responded to the fire at a four-plex house in the 1000 block of Heights Boulevard around 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Firefighters said upon arrival they could see heavy smoke and fire was coming from the attic and the second floor.

Nearly 20 HFD unites responded to this incident. No injuries were reported.

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On Friday, the Houston Fire Department said the fire has been ruled accidental due to an electrical short in the attic.

Fire officials said the second leading cause of structure fires in the City of Houston is due to electrical issues, which includes overloading electrical outlets, frayed wires and malfunctions. Most of these are preventable.

HFD officials provided the following safety tips:

  • Always have a working smoke detector.
  • Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
  • Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets.In homes with small children, make sure your home has tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles.
  • Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.
  • Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
  • If outlets or switches feel warm, frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuits, or flickering or dimming lights, call a qualified electrician.
  • Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn and use bulbs that match the lamp's recommended wattage.
  • Make sure your home has ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in the kitchen bathroom(s), laundry, basement, and outdoor areas.
  • Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) should be installed in your home to protect electrical outlets.

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