GEORGETOWN – Georgetown Fire Chief Fred Mitchell and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said the cause of the July 15, 2020 fire at 24 Tenney St. in Georgetown is electrical.
Chief Mitchell said, “Working smoke alarms alerted the three residents and they were able to escape the early morning fire unharmed. Without working smoke alarms, they might not have awoken before being overcome by the toxic smoke.” Sadly, one cat perished in the fire.
At approximately 5:13 a.m. yesterday, Georgetown Fire was dispatched to 24 Tenney St. for a report of a fire on the second floor. First arriving officers from the Georgetown Police Department reported fire showing from the second floor and indicated that the residents inside had evacuated safely.
Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire in a spare bedroom on the home’s second floor and worked to extinguish the flames, bringing it under control shortly after 6 a.m.
Investigators determined the fire started in an outlet in a second floor spare bedroom. Arcing from the outlet ignited a nearby chair. Most of the fire damage was confined to this bedroom, but there was soot damage throughout the second the floor.
The Groveland, Rowley, Newbury and Haverhill Fire Departments provided assistance at the scene, along with Atlantic Ambulance and the State Department of Fire Services Rehab Unit. Boxford and West Newbury Firefighters provided station coverage.
The fire was jointly investigated by members of the Georgetown Fire Department and State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
Chief Mitchell said, “Electrical fires can start inside the walls and are often hard to detect before the fire is significant. It is important to have your home or business’ electrical system checked out by a licensed professional every 10 years. Making sure grounds are securely connected and doing small upgrades can ensure you safely and affordably meet growing electrical needs.”
State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “Electrical fires are the second leading cause of fire deaths in Massachusetts. It is important to know the warning signs of when to call an electrician and when to call the fire department.” Call the fire department immediately if you have any of these warning signs:
- Arcs, sparks or short circuits;
- Sizzling or buzzing sound;
- Odors, vague smell of something burning.
Firefighters can use thermal imaging technology to see excessive heat inside the walls.
Call a professional electrician soon if you have any of these warning signs:
- Frequently blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers;
- Dim or flickering lights, bulbs that wear out too fast;
- Overheated plugs, cords or switches;
- Shock or mild tingle – more than normal static electricity;
- Loose plugs; or
- Unusually warm or faulty outlets or switches.
For more information on Electrical Fire Safety visit: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/electrical-fire-safety .