Local News

Surge Protectors Blamed for 2 Fayetteville Fires

Posted September 26, 2007 3:36 p.m. EDT
Updated September 26, 2007 6:38 p.m. EDT

— Faulty surge protectors likely sparked fires that destroyed a Fayetteville strip mall and damaged a homeless shelter this week, authorities said Wednesday.

As many as 45 antique vendors at Festival Park Place, which is commonly known as Gas House Antiques, lost their wares in a fire early Monday. The first floor of the Rowan Street building was an antique mall, while the second floor was mostly used for office space.

Numerous extension cords were plugged into a surge protector, which might have overtaxed it, authorities said. The fire was then fueled by a propane leak, authorities said.

Many of the vendors were uninsured, authorities said.

A failure in a surge protector in an upstairs bedroom at the City Rescue Mission triggered a fire Tuesday morning, authorities said.

The man who was staying in the room where the fire started suffered first- and second-degree burns and was taken to the Jaycees Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. His condition was unknown Wednesday night.

The other 16 men staying at the mission have moved to the Salvation Army, but officials said they will have to move from there within the next few days.

The 105-year-old house, at 120 N. Cool Springs St., has been condemned, authorities said.