Local News

Air fresheners a focus in Johnston fire probe

Posted February 20, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Investigators trying to determine what caused a fire at a Clayton home are looking into whether air fresheners could be to blame.

Johnston County Fire Marshal Chris Perry said Friday that at the time of the fire, Glade PlugIns were connected to three electrical outlets at Phillip and Dana Jackson's home on Sunray Drive. He did not specify the type of PlugIns.

No one was home at the time and no one was injured, Perry said.

Air fresheners a focus in Johnston fire probe Investigators probe air fresheners in fire

Authorities have no definitive cause, and they are looking into possible electrical issues. A fire investigator from S.C. Johnson, which manufactures the product, was also at the scene Friday investigating.

Perry said investigators were able to purchase the same type of air fresheners at a Dollar General at 841 W. Market St. in Smithfield, where the Jacksons purchased theirs.

Christopher Beard, S.C. Johnson's director of public affairs, said in a statement Friday afternoon that the company is confident the fire was not started by one of its products.

"S.C. Johnson sent a fire investigator to the scene of the fire to evaluate the incident and work with local law enforcement," Beard said. "The investigator concluded that our products did not cause the fire."

"S.C. Johnson takes the issue of product safety very seriously and Glade PlugIns, like all S.C. Johnson products, meet or exceed safety requirements," Beard continued.

In April 2002, S.C. Johnson voluntarily recalled one of its products that posed a potential fire risk, but Perry said investigators were unsure if it was the same product that was involved in the fire.


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  • james27613 Feb 20, 2009

    How can you make that statement without knowing the facts?

    How old was the home, did it have aluminum or copper wiring?

    Yes, any electrical device can cause a fire, however,
    so can bad connections inside the outlet box, aluminum wiring,
    overloaded circuits.

    Arcs can also cause the entire wall to explode from the heat
    buildup from the wires carbonizing.

    Example, a picture is hung in a hallway or bedroom, the nail
    pierces the romex cable but is not a direct short circuit so
    the panel breaker (or fuse if older home) will not trip.

    Time goes by, the wires arc 60 times a second, again not enough
    to trip the breaker or blow a fuse.

    Eventually, the wires and insulation are carbonized and sufficient heat will cause the entire wall to explode in flames.


  • Fx432 Feb 20, 2009

    "The investigator concluded that our products did not cause the fire."
    Bet he had that figured out before he even got there....