Teel Lane shop fire (RMF)

Firefighters give warning about extension cords after 3 separate fires

Teel Lane shop fire (RMF)

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. – Firefighters issued a warning after a series of electrical fires in Josephine County.

Early Monday morning, a fire destroyed a shop and a pickup truck in the 200 block of Teel Lane south of Grants Pass. There were no injuries reported.

Rural Metro Fire said investigators determined the cause of the fire was related to an electrical issue involving an extension cord that ran from the shop to the pickup in the yard.

“The cord was powering a ‘block heater’ used to keep diesel engines warm during cold temperatures,” Rural Metro said. “It remains unclear as to whether the extension cord or block heater failed first.”

According to Rural Metro, this was the third fire in three days involving a power supply cord used to run electrical components in a vehicle.

Firefighters are urging anyone running an electrical supply cord from a building to anything outside, including vehicles, to use the following safety measures:

  • Do not use extension cords as permanent wiring.
  • Do not run cords across driveways where they can be run over and become damaged internally.
  • Ensure the property amperage is used if supplying power to RVs.
  • Park vehicles that are plugged in at least 10′ from anything it could spread to if ignited (buildings, other vehicles, etc).
  • If supplying power to a movable vehicle, manually unplug before moving. Do not move the vehicle deliberately to force the cord to disconnect.
  • If running a cord from an interior outlet, use Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) outlets.
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