News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 13, 2013

North side sees second house fire in 2 days

Staff Report
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Terre Haute firefighters were called to a second electrical fire in two days Friday morning, quickly handling the blaze and saving a home on the city’s near-north side.

No one was injured in the fire, which was reported about 10 a.m. in a one-story home in the 1700 block of North 12th Street. Smoke was seen billowing from the attic of the home and firefighters had the blaze extinguished within a half hour.

Investigators ruled the cause of the fire electrical. The small home appeared to sustain minimal damage. Neighboring homes were undamaged.

Just one day earlier, a Terre Haute family escaped a fire that destroyed their North Ninth Street home about 6 a.m. The cause of that fire was also electrical.

“We do see an increase in electrical fires in the winter time,” said Jeff Fisher, Terre Haute fire chief. Space heaters, which were in use in the Thursday fire and Christmas lights can overload circuits and, especially in homes with old knob and tube wiring, can lead to fires, he said.

Fisher warned area residents not to overload extension cords and to avoid running the cords under chairs or other items that might cause the cords to wear through. He also warned that a tripped circuit breaker indicates there is a problem. Do not attempt to fix the problem with a bigger fuse or by forcing the breaker to remain open using tape, he said. If a single circuit is overloaded, plug electrical items into another outlet on a different circuit, Fisher said.