Firefighters with the Guil-Rand fire department say two recent Sophia house fires could have been avoided.
The fires were caused by overloaded circuits — too many plugs in one outlet — and firefighters say space heaters are often the specific reason that causes the circuits to overload.
Guil-Rand firefighters said they responded to two fires of this type on the same street within the past month.
One of the homeowners, Joe Williams, said he called his electrician because the lights went out in his house, but Willy Crotts found a lot more than he bargained for upon arrival.
“It was a routine service call. We had no idea. I just walked outside and turned around and it was smoke coming out of the roof,” Crotts said.
“He come back in the house and said we need to get out now. The house is on fire,” said Williams.
Once firefighters arrived and extinguished the minor blaze, Crotts learned about the smoldering wires in the attic.
“Was overloading the circuit so the wire got warm and they kept resetting the breaker trying to keep it on… And eventually got the wire got good and hot and it melted,” Crotts said.
Crotts himself however, was not so lucky. He said his wife’s rental home, located one mile down the road, burned to the ground several weeks ago due to the same reason.
“There’s nothing left but the outside walls,” Crotts said.
Crotts said people should be careful about plugging multiple electronics into one outlet.