UPDATE: Valley Center house fire causes $100,000 in damage

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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WICHITA, Kan. -- A home south of Valley Center caught fire Saturday night, causing $100,000 in damage.

The homeowner saw smoke coming from his garage and called 911. When crews arrived, they found a substantial fire inside.

One possible cause fire investigators are looking at is the electrical wiring in the ceiling.

Many times, the electrical wiring in light fixtures gets brittle from the heat of the light bulb and starts to degrade.

Service electrician Richard Brown from Decker Electric says that the wrong wattage bulb can cause failure and fire. "'Make sure that your light socket doesn't show signs of burning, smelling or discoloration in the metal," Brown said, "and use the proper rated lamps in the rated fixtures." That is an indicator that the lighting assembly is overheating and prone to fail.

Electrical outlets can also pose a problem. When an electrical plug is loose in the socket and tends to fall out, that is an indicator that the outlet is going bad. Brown says that when you have to bend the prongs on the plug to keep it from falling out of the outlet, it can cause the electricity to arc when plugged in, which releases heat and can cause a fire.

Each year, FEMA estimates 28,000 house fires are caused by electrical problems, that is 10 percent of all house fires nationwide and around 1,300 people are hurt or killed in these fires.

Brown suggest that you have an electrician inspect your wiring once a year to look for problems stating, "to have a service technician to come out once a year is a lot cheaper than a loss of life or property."

A reminder, never try and put out an electrical fire with water. A fire extinguisher rated Class-C is required, it has the correct chemical composition to put out an electrical fire.

Original Story

A home in the 6500 block of north Bella Road caught fire Saturday night, causing an estimated $100,000 in damage.

The fire was called in by the homeowner around 9 P.M. who spotted smoke in the garage area.

When firefighters arrived, they found visible flames from the outside, inside there was extensive fire damage. The fire spread into the attic, main floor and basement.

Battalion Chief John Turner say wiring could be the cause. "Investigators are looking up into the electrical area," Turner said, "the main target is looking to be the electrical area up in the lightning and in the ceiling."

No one was injured in the fire, but the home is now unlivable.

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