TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Topeka Fire Department said an extension cord caused a store fire Saturday. The owner of Trails Gallery and Market, Jeff Hisey, discovered the fire when he opened up.
He said the fire caused structural damage and ruined merchandise. While he said he’s looking to move past the fire, it won’t be easy.
“I felt like everything was just taken away from me,” Hisey said. “My whole life savings was in this business.”
Topeka Fire Department Fire Marshal, Michael Martin, advices people to be cautious with extension cords so they can avoid fires.
“We never want to use major appliances on extension cords,” he said. “So, refrigerators, air conditioners, things like that, those need to be plugged in directly to the outlet. Like any tool, before you use it you need to inspect it.”
He suggests inspecting the cords for kinks, knots or fraying before use. Fire Marshal Martin said they need to be used as the manufacturer intends.
“Make sure that you’re using an extension cord that’s rated for the type of amperage and voltage that you’re doing,” he said.
Fire Marshal Martin also said wrapping the cord around itself or running it under a rug can cause it to overheat when it’s being used. He said to use the cords temporarily.
“We want to use them for the application we need them, unplug them and put them away,” he said.
He encourages people to plan what they will do if there’s a fire in their home, have smoke detectors and practice fire drills.