Holyoke house fire caused by overloaded electrical circuit

  • Holyoke firefighters battle a blaze at 141 Oak St. Monday night.  HOLYOKE FIRE DEPARTMENT

  • Holyoke firefighters battle a blaze at 141 Oak St. Monday night. HOLYOKE FIRE DEPARTMENT

Staff Writer
Published: 5/27/2020 4:03:35 PM

HOLYOKE — An overloaded electrical circuit was the cause of a Monday night fire on Oak Street that destroyed a duplex and left seven people displaced, a city fire official said Wednesday.

Firefighters extinguished a blaze at 141 Oak St. around 8 p.m. on Memorial Day that forced two families out of their 2½-story home. The Holyoke Fire Department along with state police assigned to the state Fire Marshal’s office determined the cause of the fire, according to Holyoke Fire Capt. Kevin Cavagnac.

Cavagnac emphasized the dangers of overloading electrical outlets they can overheat and cause a fire. Heavy-duty appliances such as air conditioners, space heaters and microwave ovens should never be plugged into power strips or extension cords, he said. 

“Many fires are started this way every year,” he said.

As summer approaches, more people will be using air conditioners. Cavagnac said it is crucial that heavy-duty appliances are plugged directly into a dedicated outlet that is served by a circuit breaker with the correct amperage. Heavy-duty appliances should be the only unit plugged into the outlet, as using the other plug may overdraw the circuit, he said.

Drapes, clothing, furniture, and bedding should be kept clear of the outlet, according to Cavagnac. Anyone with questions can contact the Holyoke Fire Department Fire Prevention Bureau at (413) 534-2254.

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com. 

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