Chief Robert Hart
371 Main St.
Acton, MA 01720
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Acton Firefighters Extinguish Electrical Fire inside Home
ACTON — Chief Robert Hart reports that the Acton Fire Department quelled a small electrical fire that could have been much worse had firefighters not arrived in time.
On Monday, Dec. 9 at 6:49 p.m., firefighters responded to a home on Central Street after a resident reported a strange odor in the home and noticed that the wall near an electrical outlet was hot.
The homeowner also shut off the circuit breaker before firefighters arrived.
Firefighters arrived to find a second story electrical outlet that was warm, and light smoke was coming from the outlet. Crews opened the wall to investigate and found a small fire burning inside the wall. The fire was extinguished and overhauled to ensure that the fire had not extended to any other portions of the home.
An electrical inspector from the Acton Building Department, and after an investigation by the inspector and the Acton Fire Department, it was determined that there had been an open splice in the wiring, and the electrical inspector noted that the outlet had been moved to make room for a forced hot water baseboard that had been installed.
A space heater had been plugged into the outlet and had run for several hours the previous night. It is believed that the load drawn from the heater exposed the danger of the open splice, resulting in the fire.
Residents were able to return home last night, and damage was contained to the original wall. Cleanup will be required, but there was no structural damage to the home.
Chief Hart reminds residents to only use a licensed electrician to move or relocate wiring in the home and to exercise extreme caution when using space heaters. There was also only one working smoke detector in the home, increasing the possible danger if the fire had occurred in the evening when residents were asleep.
Notably, Chief Hart reminds residents:
- Never attempt to relocate or move electrical wires yourself. Only used a state licensed electrician to perform electrical work in the home.
- Never leave a space heater plugged in and/or operating overnight or when you are not home.
- Review the state literature on smoke and carbon smoke detector requirements in homes and call the fire department business line at 978-929-7722 if you are unsure if your home, rented or owned, meets the requirements.