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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Overloaded Plug Sockets Cause House Fire

Fire damage to living room
Widespread damage to living room

Firefighters are warning of the dangers of overloading plug sockets following a house fire in South Staffordshire that has left the property uninhabitable.

"This incident highlights the dangers of overloading plug sockets, as they can quickly start an electrical fire."

Assistant Area Commander, Paul Richins

The incident involved a fire in the living room of a semi detached property on The Greenway in Pattingham yesterday morning. Two crews from Codsall and Wombourne attended the incident, following an emergency call at 9.15am. The family had already evacuated the property; however firefighters in breathing apparatus rescued a pet cat from the first floor of the property. The cat, Ellie, was suffering from smoke inhalation and so firefighters gave the pet oxygen therapy, utilising a mask normally used on small children.

Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire using one hose reel jet. They also used a thermal imaging camera to check no fire had spread to the property next door. The fire, which caused fire damage to the living room and heavy smoke logging to the rest of the property, was caused by overloaded plug sockets behind the TV.

Assistant Area Commander for South Staffordshire, Paul Richins said: "The property was fitted with smoke alarms that we had provided, which gave an early alert to the fire, allowing the family to evacuate safely. In the property at the time of the incident was a lady looking after her three grandchildren - she did exactly the right thing; she got everyone out, rang 999 and then stayed out.

"Firefighters searching the property found the cat and brought her outside; she was suffering from the effects of smoke and so we gave her gave her oxygen therapy, before she was taken to the vets to be checked over.

"This incident highlights the dangers of overloading plug sockets, as they can quickly start an electrical fire. We’d urge people to ensure they use the long bar extension leads as these are fused, unlike the square multi plugs."