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Plugs on Christmas tree lights blamed in house fire

JENNA-LEY HARRISON
Staff Writer
A woman and her daughter escaped their burning Lincolnton residence Friday evening after fire officials said a multi-plug adapter on the home’s artificial Christmas tree sparked a fire.
The incident occurred just after 7:30 p.m. at a two-story home on 107 Mauney Drive. The Lincolnton Housing Authority owns the residence, Fire Chief Mike Lee said.
The woman told firefighters that she was putting her daughter to bed that evening when the two of them heard the smoke detector going off.
After the woman’s attempts to squelch the tree’s fire with a blanket proved unsuccessful, causing the flames to intensify, she and her daughter fled the residence, Lee said.
Both smoke and flames were coming from the home when Lincolnton fire crews arrived at the home, Lee said. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire within 16 minutes of arrival, allowing the residence to sustain minimal damage. Fire officials estimated damage to be around $15,000.
Currently, the Red Cross is caring for the woman and child, and Lee noted that the Lincolnton Housing Authority was expected to provide another apartment for the duo on Monday.
No one was injured in the incident, and Lee credits the smoke detector with saving the occupant’s lives and preventing the home from being destroyed.
“It is evident that the smoke detector contributed to the mother and daughter escaping the toxic fire gases prior to being overcome,” he said.
Lee also noted that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests that detectors be tested monthly and batteries replaced annually unless the product’s manufacturer lists other specific guidelines.
In February, a broken smoke detector contributed to the death of a 60-year-old Lincolnton woman. She died of smoke inhalation after her residence on East McBee Street caught fire, fire officials said.
Those who would like assistance with their smoke detectors can contact the Lincolnton Fire Department at 704-736-8920, Lee said.
North 321 Fire Department also responded to Friday’s incident.

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