Authorities say a malfunctioning extension cord sparked a weekend fire in a Wichita, Kansas, home where a man was found unconscious and later died.
Wichita fire Lt. Jose Ocadiz said Monday that investigators found the heat-damaged extension cord in the middle of the victim’s living room, buried beneath several items that were prone to catching fire. The Wichita Eagle reports that the victim was identified only as a 66-year-old man. He was found unresponsive Saturday in a hallway of the home and couldn’t be revived.
Ocadiz says an autopsy will determine the man’s cause of death. The fire caused about $50,000 in damage to the man’s home and property.
According to research by the National Fire Protection Association, each year between 2010 and 2014, it’s estimated that 45,210 house fires involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition. The fires resulted in $1.4 billion in property damage. The 2017 NFPA report also found that cords and plugs accounted for 10 percent of fires, 28 percent of deaths and 12 percent of direct property damage. The report noted that most electrical fires occurred during the month of January.
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