Explained: why fire struck Carthage home two days in a row

For the second morning in a row, a Carthage home caught fire.
For the second morning in a row, a Carthage home caught fire.(WWNY)
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 2:29 PM EDT
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CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - After fire struck a home on South Mechanic Street Tuesday, and again Wednesday, a lot of people were left wondering how it could happen.

That’s especially since the power to 319 South Mechanic Street was cut after the first fire, and fire officials quickly said the fires weren’t suspicious - no one was setting them on purpose.

The first fire early Tuesday damaged the attic. The second fire, early Wednesday, did much more damage throughout the building.

As it turns out, electricity was to blame, even with the power cut off.

In a statement from Joseph Plummer, Jefferson County Fire Coordinator, Thursday afternoon, Plummer revealed both fires were related to the house’s wiring overheating.

In the case of the first fire, the wiring got hot enough to set material in the attic on fire.

That same attic wiring connected to the second floor bedroom where the second fire started, and even though firefighters carefully put out the first fire and searched for hot spots - including using a thermal imaging camera which shows where heat is, in a building - the wires in the bedroom had gotten hot enough to smolder for hours before finally breaking out into the second floor fire.

What caused the wires to overheat in the first place? Plummer’s statement cites “excessive current draw” on them - in other words, too much electricity going through them.

The investigation into the fire is concluded, he notes.

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