An Aberdeen man suffered burns to his hands and damage to his home after a portable generator caught fire during a power outage on Tuesday evening.
Just after 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, emergency responders were dispatched to the 200 block of Baltimore Street in Aberdeen for a reported dwelling fire in a two-story, Cape Cod style, single family dwelling.
The fire, which originated from a gas generator located to the rear of the home, was discovered by the home’s occupant, who was in the house with five other family members.
Fifteen firefighters from the Aberdeen Fire Department responded to the fire and had it under control within 10 minutes.
The preliminary cause of the fire was ruled accidental, due to gasoline igniting after coming into contact with the engine while refueling the generator.
The resident and his family had their electric turned off earlier in the day. The man purchased a gas generator to assist with temporarily restoring power. While refueling the generator, gasoline came into contact with the engine and subsequently ignited. The man attempted to extinguish the fire with a small fire extinguisher and sustained 1st degree burns to his left hand while trying to move the generator away from the exterior of the home, but was treated on the by medical personnel and refused transportation to a hospital. The fire was contained to the exterior of the home.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal estimated the fire caused $5,000 to the structure and another $500 to its contents.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal also stressed the importance of generator safety:
“Gasoline and propane portable generators should never be refueled while running and always allow the unit to cool before attempting to refuel. All generators must be kept outdoors and at least five feet away from any entrances and windows into the home to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your home is equipped with working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. These early notification devices are some of the most effective fire and life safety tools for preventing injury or death from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.”