Man Dies In Winston-Salem Fire From Short In Cord To Christmas Lights

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- A bedridden man died when authorities said an electrical cord for outdoor Christmas lights started a fire in his home.

Thurman Thompson, 60, who had multiple sclerosis, couldn't get out of his rental house and died in the early Tuesday morning fire, Winston-Salem Fire Department District Chief Steve Williams said.

An electrical short in an extension cord on the porch caused the fire, Williams said. The cord ran to the porch through the front door, and was damaged by the repeated opening and closing of the door.

Thompson's wife got out of the house to tell neighbors out of the fire. Neighbors called 911 at 12:47 a.m. Firefighters arrived minutes later. The fire was under control in about 20 minutes.

Firefighters went in the front door and also broke a back window to get to Thompson. They pulled him out and paramedics tried to treat him, Williams said.

Damages to the house were estimated at $48,000.

Information from: Winston-Salem Journal