TEMPLE, Texas — Temple Fire & Rescue has seen two apartment fires in the past 24 hours.
“When you’re leaving your home, you need to double check that no major appliances are running,” says Fire Chief Mitch Randles. “You know, a lot of people, they’ll go to leave, they’ll start their washer, they’ll start their dryer, and they won’t turn them off. Do not leave those things running while you’re not home.”
The first fire, which occurred on Tuesday, was an electrical fire at the Williamsburg Apartments, which is now an unlivable environment. The other happened early this morning at the Ariza Apartments, which was set off by a lit candle.
Randles explained electrical fires can be prevented if residents take action.
“Some of the common causes we see that are electrical causes are the use of extension cords,” Randles says. “And especially to power, like, air conditioners or refrigerators, or large appliances. Very unsafe practice, and really shouldn’t be done. The other is they’ll get a power strip, or some sort of a surge protector strip, and then they’ll plug eight or ten things into it, and again, not designed for that.”
Randles also stressed the importance of having smoke alarms, and possibly a sprinkler system, in the home to help control a fire before emergency services arrive – and to save belongings from possible worse damage.
“Typically, fire damage will leave you with a longer recovery. So that sprinkler system is like having a built-in firefighter in your apartment. Extraordinarily important that you protect your home or your apartment and your belongings, and more importantly, your life,” Randles said.
FOX 44 did receive a statement from the family of the Williamsburg Apartment fire which stated the young man who was burned during the fire received second-degree burns while he was trying to put out the flames. He is being tended to at the hospital.