The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 13, 2012

Conneaut fire does $40,000 worth of damage to home

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — An overloaded power strip apparently started a fire that damaged a Sandusky Street house late Thursday night, according to Conneaut Fire Chief Steve Lee.

Firefighters from stations 1 and 3 were dispatched to 553 Sandusky St., around 9:30 p.m., Lee said. A man was home at the time and was able to escape without injury, he said. No firefighters were injured, Lee said.

The fire began in a one-story back room of the wood-frame building, Lee said. Flames quickly extended into the two-story portion of the house, traveling up into the attic, firefighters said. As firefighters headed upstairs, flames could be seen through cracks in the walls,  firefighters said.

Preliminary investigation indicates a power strip loaded with high-use appliances may have triggered the blaze, firefighters said. Crews cleared the scene around midnight, according to a report.

Damage was estimated at $30,000 to the structure and between $10,000 and $15,000 to the contents, firefighters said.

The identity of the occupant was not immediately available Friday. The house is owned by a West Virginia resident, according to records from the Ashtabula County auditor’s office.