Air conditioner source of fire on Olive
By Robin Scott
The Dalhart Fire Department responded to a fire in the 1200 block of Olive Avenue on Friday, June 19th. The fire occurred at the noon hour and was confined to the home’s air conditioning unit.
According to Fire Chief Curtis Brown, “The blower motor on the AC unit locked up and filled the house with smoke.” The Dalhart Fire Department dispatched five units. Also on scene were two units from the Dalhart Police Department and an EMS paramedic. No injuries were reported however, and the homeowners were away at the time of the fire.
Glen Pack, a volunteer fireman with the Dalhart Fire Department commented, “I’m not certain where the fire was confined to as I was outside on the truck, but I know that no water was necessary to put the fire out.”
Fires that generate a lot of smoke are dangerous and smoke can potentially cause a lot of property damage.
According the U. S. Fire Administration (USFA), “Each year in the United States, an average of 2,300 air conditioning fires occur in residential structures.” Fortunately, statistically air conditioning fires do not cause many injuries or deaths; Approximately 60 injuries and less than five deaths on average nationwide.
The USFA states that the term “air conditioning fires” applies to fires where the air conditioning equipment was identified as the equipment involved in the ignition of the fire. According to the USFA, “Product maintenance, routine inspection, and the installation of smoke alarms can aid in the prevention or reduction of air conditioning fires.”
The fire on June 19th was discovered by a housekeeper. Had no one been in the residence and able to report the fire, the damage to the residence would likely have been much greater. The housekeeper was unharmed and is credited with responding immediately when she discovered smoke.
Visit www.usfa.dhs.gov for more information on air conditioner fires and fire prevention.