Overheated wiring in an outlet where a window air conditioner was plugged in has apparently caused a small fire at a Coalmont residence Monday evening.
Shortly before 7 p.m., a next-door neighbor reported smoke coming from Steve Allen's home located at 6649 W. Public Road to dispatchers at the Clay County Justice Center.
Members of the Lewis, Wright and Jasonville Township Vol. Fire Departments were dispatched to the scene.
When firemen arrived, they found heavy, black smoke billowing out of the house.
According to a press release by Fire Chief Bryan Husband, two firefighters, Max Husband and Jimmy Noel, could see an orange glow in one of the rooms when they entered the home. While an exterior crew ventilated the room, the two firefighters pushed the smoke and heat out the window with hoses.
A slow burn pattern discovered behind a dresser while investigating the cause of the fire, according to Husband, was consistent with overheated wiring.
"The air conditioner was pulling too much amperage for the circuit breaker," Husband said. "It burned slowly until it caught fire, which then triggered the circuit breaker."
With many local residents using window air conditioners to fight the high summer temperatures, Husband recommends homeowners check their circuit breaker boxes.
"Make sure you are not using too much amperage for the outlet where you are plugging in an air conditioner, or any appliance for that matter," Husband said.