Overnight fire in Danville prompts warning about extension cords

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DANVILLE (WSLS10) - The Danville Fire Department is reminding people about how to properly use an extension cord.

Around 11:45 Thursday night, an apartment at the Fitzgerald Apartment Complex caught fire as the result of an overloaded extension cord.

The apartment was heavily damaged and the apartments above it and on both sides were also damaged.

32 residents in the apartment complex were displaced because power had to be shut off to the building.

"They had an air conditioner plugged into a multi-plug adapter plugged into a drop cord plugged into another multi-plug adapter," Danville Assistant Fire Marshal Richie Guill said, explaining how the extension cord was overloaded.

He said this is a common situation with older homes. The homes do not have enough electrical outlets, so instead of having an electrician come in and install more outlets people simply use extension cords assuming that they can handle as much amperage as an electrical outlet.

"Electricity creates friction," Guill pointed out. "Just like, say, you went running across the floor as a kid and drag your knees across the floor. It will burn your knees. The exact same thing happens with an extension cord pushing all that electricity through."

No one was hurt in the fire.

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