Upper Arlington News

Clinton Township

Space heater, loose connections blamed for fire

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Firefighters from Upper Arlington were among crews from three departments called to extinquish a Jan. 9 fire that caused approximately $10,000 damage to this home on West Ninth Avenue in Clinton Township.

Investigators have determined that a combination of loose connections and a space heater that was plugged into the circuit caused a Jan. 9 fire that extensively damaged a home on West Ninth Avenue in Clinton Township.

Firefighters from Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights and Columbus responded to the fire at 897 W. Ninth Ave. in the University District at around 8:30 a.m. Jan. 9.

Dan Kochensparger, public information officer for the UA fire department, said the landlord's insurance company sent an adjustor and their own fire investigator, who concurred with the UAFD's conclusions about the cause of the fire.

Four college-age residents who were living in the single-family home were not injured but have had to move to temporary housing. Damages to the house were estimated at $10,000.

It took firefighters about 10 minutes to extinguish the blaze once they arrived on the scene, Kochensparger said.

He said Upper Arlington fire investigators determined the fire began in the exterior wall near an electrical outlet. He added the occupants reported they had experienced problems before with the home's electrical system.

"(The occupants) ran downstairs and shut the breakers off before we got there," he said. "It's speculation, but we think there were probably some breakers that were tripping."

Last week's warmer temperatures, which had thawed much of the ice that had lingered in the area, made it easier to combat the blaze, he said. Kochensparger also noted that mutual-aid agreements among Upper Arlington, Grandview and Columbus helped speed response times.

"This incident was yet another instance where the mutual-aid system in our county proved its worth. The person whose house is on fire or who is experiencing a medical emergency doesn't care what it says on the side of the fire truck; they just want help fast," he said.