Upper Macungie Fire Marshal Sam Ashmar is cautioning homeowners about generator use after a fire broke out Tuesday afternoon in the garage of an Upper Macungie home that had been using a generator.
Firefighters were called to the home at 1527 Magnolia Drive at 3:20 p.m. on Tuesday and found flames through the garage roof, according to a release from Fire Marshal Sam Ashmar. The home is owned by Paul and Gina Medvedz.
Ashmar ruled the fire as accidental. He said an investigation revealed that a generator was placed in a small structure attached to the garage of the home. Combustibles materials were found next to the exhaust, the release said.
Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to the home, but the family of four is temporarily displaced. Damage is expected to be more than $15,000.
Firefighters from Cetronia, Greenawalds, Lower Macungie Township, Schnecksville, and Topton assisted.
No injuries were reported at the scene.
A 48-year-old Lower Macungie woman died Tuesday of carbon monixide poisoning. Tammy Kerosetz, 48, of 3663 Schoeneck Road, Lower Macungie, was overcome by exhaust fumes from a portable gas generator before 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the Lehigh County Coroner's office said Wednesday. The generator was running inside her garage.
With power outages widespread in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Ashmar advised the following for generator use:
* Generators should be used in well ventilated locations outside away from all doors, windows and vent openings.
* NEVER use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
* Place generators so that exhaust fumes can't enter through windows, doors or other openings in the structure.
* Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in the home.
* Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running.
* A homeowner must remember to store fuel for the generator in the appropriate container and outside of the living area.
* If you must connect the generator to the house wiring, have a qualified electrician install a properly rated transfer switch to prevent backfeeding the system.