Martinsville fire chief issues reminder after Sunday house fire

Fire caused by water dripping onto an exposed electrical outlet

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Martinsville's fire chief is issuing a reminder after determining the cause of Sunday's house fire.

The fire happened at 918 Chalmers Street.

According to the fire department, water from a leak in the kitchen sink dripped down onto an exposed electrical outlet in the basement.

The water caused the outlet to spark, catching furniture on fire.

Damage was estimated at $15,000.

Fire Chief Ted Anderson said this should serve as a reminder to make sure you have a cover on every electrical outlet.

"It's pretty common to take the cover off for painting purposes. Or, if a cover gets hit while moving furniture, things like that, you may take it off and if you don't have one to replace it immediately it's very easy to forget about them," Anderson explained.

"Covers are relatively inexpensive. They're less than a dollar apiece," he continued.

Covers also help prevent electric shock.

"On either side of the outlet, if you were to touch the wires that are inside of there they could not only cause an electrical shock they could also cause an electrocution."

No one was hurt in the fire, but as we've reported firefighters did rescue the family's dog named Bubba, giving him oxygen after finding him unconscious.

The fire department is working with the family to arrange a time for Bubba to come by the fire station and meet the firefighter who saved him.

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