POSTED: Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 4:38pm
UPDATED: Friday, August 12, 2011 - 8:20am
A house fire broke out yesterday around 5 pm in Arroyo Estates just outside of San Benito.
“We saw black smoke and then everybody took off outside,” says 16-year-old Sabas Rivera.
“The clothes that I have for school are all burned down. I have nothing and my sisters have nothing.”
The flames began in the parents’ bedroom and spread to the living area before fire fighter arrived on the scene.
The fire was caused by an electric wire that burst into flames. According to reports, the wire wasn’t installed by a certified electrician.
Cameron County’s Emergency Management Coordinator Humberto Barrera says the fire started from an overworked power strip.
“He had the air conditioner and his computer and a lot of other things connected into a power strip,” says Barrera. “It's something that we warn people about. He also told us that he did some air condition work and that he spliced the chords himself.”
Barrera says this is a mistake that happens far too often.
“Once you start connecting these heavy appliances to your power strips you start overloading that circuit and power strip and the potential for creating a fire are significantly increased.”
Barrera urges citizens to avoid this mistake and says that a certified electrician should always be contacted when dealing with complex outlets and wires.
“You don't want to substitute the safety of your family by saving a few bucks on someone who isn't qualified,” says Barrera.
Thankfully, Rivera and his family weren’t harmed during the fire.