Warning Issued after Air Conditioning Unit Sparks Fire in Pawtucket, RI

May 25, 2024
The neutral wire arced against the circuit breaker that was mounted on the side of the house, Deputy State Fire Marshal James Given said.

A house fire in Pawtucket Wednesday was caused by an air conditioning unit leading to a warning to homeowners. 

"We found that the wiring into that box, the neutral wire, there was an issue with that. And it arced against the case the circuit breaker was in," Chief Deputy of the State Fire Marshal James Given said. 

"The box with the circuit breaker was actually mounted to the side of the house. So, you have combustible material there. In this case, vinyl siding, and underneath the vinyl siding there was asphalt," Given told WJAR. 

Michelle McCormack said they've used the unit for years.

"My husband checked the AC unit at 2:00 p.m., nothing was wrong with it, nothing," she said adding that 13 family members lived in the house.

"All these emotions are going through my head, it was my daughter's bedroom that got the worst of it, my niece's bedroom. If they were in their beds, they would've been gone," she said.

Given urges residents to have their air conditioning units inspected annually to mare sure it's working properly. 


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