A Kingston teenager’s, two pet reptiles perished and most of his possessions were destroyed when a cell phone charging cord, left plugged in and on a bed, sparked a fire in the cabin where he had been sleeping on the morning of Feb. 5.
North Kitsap Fire & Rescue (NKF&R) crews responded to a reported shed fire off of Timber Lane in Kingston at 10:43 a.m. The crew found the 12’ x 12’ structure fully-engulfed in flames.
The crew had the fire under control within minutes, containing it to the shed and preventing its spread to adjacent areas which included vehicles parked nearby.
The 16-year-old occupant of the cabin told NKF&R crews that about 15 minutes prior to discovering the fire, he’d left the cabin to go into the main home for a shower. When he returned, he found black smoke coming from the wood structure and attempted to extinguish the blaze himself but ultimately called 911 to report the fire.
An investigator from the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office eventually responded to the scene and based on witness statements and physical evidence believes that the fire likely started with a cell phone charging cord that had been left on the cabin’s bed and was plugged into an extension cord.
It is believed that the charging cord may have been damaged prior to the start of the fire.
Firefighters stress the importance of ensuring that all cords are in good working condition and that use of damaged cords greatly increases the risk for fires. It is also recommended to not leave any electronic equipment, such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops or their charging cords, on a bed or other soft surface. The risk of fire increases because the soft surfaces prevent heat from the electronics from dissipating and provides readily-combustible fuel to feed flames.
The teen’s father wrote in a Facebook post, “Almost all the teens I know have had their phone charging on their bed at some point – don’t do it! If this had happened an hour or two earlier while he was sleeping, things could have been much worse.”
There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians in the incident according to NKF&R.