An overloaded outlet has been identified as the cause of last week’s house fire at 808 W. Euclid St.


An overloaded outlet has been identified as the cause of last week’s house fire at 808 W. Euclid St.
Assistant Fire Chief Rick Unruh said an investigation by the McPherson Fire Department concluded an adapter allowing a two-device outlet to accept multiple plugs sparked the fire. The adapter melted when a portable heater and an electric broiler overloaded the device, causing it to ignite.
“It was pulling so much electricity through there that it finally just melted the multiplug (adapter) and caught it on fire,” Unruh said.
The adapter, which was located in the home’s kitchen, set fire to cabinets above the outlet. The fire spread into the upper level of the home, destroying much of the kitchen and second floor. Other parts of the home were damaged by smoke.
The owner of  the house was not present when the fire started. Unruh said he had left, expecting to be gone for an hour, and was unaware that firefighters were battling the fire until he was called to the scene more than two hours later.
In all, Unruh said the incident caused $30,000 in damage to the home.
Unruh also warned area residents to avoid similar accidents during the holiday season. He said using specially-designed power strips instead of multiplug adapters could spare other homes from similar incidents.
“Get a breakered power strip,” he said. “At least the breaker on the power strip will catch it and shut everything down” if devices attempt to draw too much power.