Janesville59°

Family escapes house fire

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Gazette Staff
November 7, 2007
— A smoke detector did its job Tuesday, and a single-family home and its residents are better off for it.

Janesville firefighters were called at 10:53 a.m. Tuesday to the home at 424 S. Pearl St. after residents heard the smoke detector, found a fire and called 911, said Shift Commander Tim Ehlers.


The fire started in a basement bedroom area when two power strips that were connected as an extension cord for a space heater overloaded. Damage, which was confined to two rooms, was listed at $15,000 to the structure and $3,000 to contents.


Ehlers said Maria Rodriguez and her two sons lived in the home. Because electricity and gas were shut off, the family will be displaced while repairs are made.


No injuries were reported.


As the winter heating season swings into gear, Ehlers said now is a good time to remind people that only one power strip should be used per outlet.


“They shouldn’t be piggybacked and hooked up like an octopus, because they will overload,” he said.


Ehlers also noted a city ordinance that mandates working smoke detectors in residences.


“They had recently installed theirs, and that’s what they heard,” he said. “They investigated, found the fire, called us and got out.”



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