Battery charger blamed for house fire

June 1, 2008 12:11:55 PM PDT
A malfunctioning battery charger is likely to blame for an electrical fire that erupted in a Petaluma home early this morning, Petaluma Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Haberski reported.

The fire department received a call reporting a fire in a home at 723 Vanessa Drive at 12:36 a.m.

Firefighters arrived seven minutes later and found black smoke coming from an open garage door and the residents, Andrew Tickle, his wife and his daughter, on the street in front of their home, Haberski reported.

A working smoke detector had alerted the family to the fire and they were able to escape the home without injury.

Tickle had initially tried to put the fire out with a garden hose, which helped contain the blaze. Firefighters declared the fire under control at 1:20 a.m.

The fire appeared to have started in a defective battery charger located in a small room behind the garage that Tickle used as a hobby room, Haberski. Damages were estimated to be about $10,000.

Firefighters cleared the smoke out of the house and the family was able to return to their home a short time later.


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