Laptop blamed in New Kensington fire
By Chuck Biedka
Published: Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, 1:26 a.m.
Tuesday night's basement fire in a New Kensington house was caused by an overheated laptop computer battery, a deputy state fire marshal said.
The resulting fire damaged 201 Pershing Ave. and sent one homeowner to the hospital to be examined.
State Trooper Jake Andolina, a fire marshal based in Greensburg, said he has filed a report with the U.S. Product Safety Commission, which keeps track of such fires.
According to the commission, in 2012 there were 20 fires or people burned by laptop batteries nationwide.
In 2006, four computer brands issued recalls for their laptops because of overheating. They had the potential of causing burns, a fire or even an explosion.
Last week, an Oregon newspaper reported that a fire started when a laptop battery malfunctioned and fell from the device onto the floor, where it caught clothing, bedding and, ultimately, the mattress on fire. No one was injured.
“I haven't seen many of these, but I read about them,” Andolina said.
“It was the first one I've seen, but I'm told there are videos on YouTube,” added New Kensington Assistant Fire Chief Ed Saliba Jr.
Fire officials said Tuesday's fire started in Christmas decorations in a basket on a table next to where the laptop was sitting.
Resident Thomas McCarthy, 62, took the flaming basket into a basement shower to extinguish it. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital.
No information on his condition was available on Thursday.
Saliba estimated the fire caused at least $20,000 of damage.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Bronze flower vases stolen from cemetery
- Leechburg adds 2 part-time police officers
- Burrell school board reviews security plan
- Agreement nears on Springdale police chief’s duties
- A-K Valley students offer F.R. Strong support
- Highlands school board won’t raise taxes
- Gilpin looks for supervisor, hires police consultant
- Watch out for the freeze
- South Butler students gain respect for farming through Agriculture Club
- Arnold teen back home, but some A-K Valley missing-person cases decades old
- Highlands School District, former baseball booster club locked in dispute