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The Critical Eye!

Michael Leavitt’s professional inspection related blog.

Electrical Fire - Self-extinguished inside panel

Electrical Fire - Self-extinguished inside panel

A 2012 Christmas night fire displaced Sioux City, Iowa family. I get notified of electrical fires regularly and am always intrigued by the reporting. Unfortunately there are rarely any credible follow-up stories with details as to the findings, so we are left to imagine what actually caused the fire to happened. Here is the story...

Electrical fire leaves Sioux City family without power

Dec 25, 2012 8:45 PM MST * By Jacqueline Quynh

A Sioux City family was without power Tuesday night after a fire broke out in their home's basement.
Five people were inside when it happened around 8 p.m., but none were hurt.
According to a fire official at the scene, when the fire broke out residents inside smelled smoke and had some power surges. The home is located a few blocks away from a fire station, and crews responded within minutes.
Officials say the fire actually self -extinguished inside of the electrical panel where it started, before firefighters got to the scene.
"I think it's a typical electrical fire, you know, you don't get a lot of them in the panel but, it appears to be a short or a bad breaker in the panel that caused the electrical fire," Sioux City Fire Department Captain Dan Cougill said.
A city inspector will be looking into the cause of the fire. Officials say the home may be red tagged until the repairs are made.
In the mean time, the city fire department will try to find the residents housing.


If a follow-up article was written, what details would you like to know? For example, I would like to know the age and brand of the panel. Was this another Federal Pacific? Or was this due to faulty breakers? Wouldn’t a before fire picture be great to look at and see if there was anything identifiable that could have prevented the fire and ultimate displacement of the family?

Michael Leavitt - Master Inspector

Michael Leavitt & Co Inspections, Inc.

1145 N. Main Street

Orem, Utah 84057


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