“They wanted you to save their kids before them,” says another witness.
It’s the nightmare that became reality in London after a massive fire in a residential high-rise building took the lives of at least 79 people.
As investigators worked to find the cause they narrowed it down to a faulty refrigerator.
10Investigates met up with Clearwater Fire Assistant Chief John Klinefelter, who says refrigerators can absolutely start a fire in your home.
“Some of the things you see with a refrigerator are faulty wiring in the back or wiring as fridges get older so you have wiring that wears away. What you can do is clean underneath it, cleaning where coils are. Make sure there’s not a huge dust build under there. Pull it out from time and time and wipe down back,” Klinefelter said.
Appliance fires are cause for a major safety concern.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that major appliances caused more than 150,000 residential fires nationwide in two years.
“The dishwasher can also be a problem too. Issue we see is with the heating element on bottom and plastic ware and Tupperware falling below. They can melt and start a fire,” Klinefelter said.
Other unexpected appliances Klinefelter says could be the match for a fire: stove, bathroom vent and your dryer.
“The biggest thing is the lint filter in the drier. People forget to clean it. You should empty it out after every load of laundry,” Klinefelter said.
While many times appliance fire are caused by human error, 10investigates has learned that dishwashers, fridges, ranges, and more are on recall lists.
So how do you find ‘out if your appliance has been recalled? A few years back the Consumer Product Safety Commission created a website for that reason.