WESTPORT, Conn. -- A generator caught fire and caused extensive damage to a garage on Lookout Lane in Westport on Thursday evening.
The Westport Fire Department responded at around 6:20 p.m. on a report of a generator on fire. When they arrived, they found a fire in an attached garage and quickly deployed hose lines to put the fire out before it extended to the living area of the home. All the occupants were out of the home before the fire department arrived.
The fire did extensive damage to the garage and there was smoke throughout the house, which firefighters were able to remove with fans. An investigation by the fire marshal revealed that the fire was a result of a generator running because of a power outage. The exhaust from the generator ignited the siding oft eh rear of the house, causing the fire, according to fire officials.
The Westport Fire Department offered several tips for safe portable generator use:
- Always read and follow the manufacturer's operating instructions before running the generator.
- Engines emit carbon monoxide. Never use a generator inside your home, garage, crawl space or other enclosed areas. Fatal fumes can build up, and neither a fan nor open doors and windows can provide enough fresh air.
- Only use your generator outdoors, away from open windows, vents or doors.
- Use a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector in the area you're running a generator.
- Never operate the generator near combustible materials. the exhaust is hot and will ignite combustible materials.
- Never plug your generator directly into your home outlet. If you are connecting a generator into your home electrical system, have a qualified electrician install a Power Transfer Switch.
The Westport Fire Department responded with 22 firefighters and officers staffing four engines and one ladder truck. Additional assistance was requested from both the Fairfield and Norwalk Fire Departments to help both at the fire and to cover the town of Westport.