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Generator Use Leads to Fire at Upper Macungie Home

A two-alarm fire Tuesday afternoon displaced an Upper Macungie family of four.

 

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.  

Sheriffchris October 31, 2012 at 08:27 PM
My goodness...you just can't fix careless and stupid...
Mac October 31, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Your ignorance is of legendary proportions.
Carl W November 02, 2012 at 01:14 AM
"Sheriffchris," have you even tried?? Maybe you just need the right doctor. That aside, ALL fires produce Carbon Monoxide, and CO precedes smoke, so I get CO (Ionization) detectors, as well as smoke detectors in my home. The Ionization I usually put in bedroom, next to heavily-wired computer & outlet area, as they can detect smoldering wires, in advance of the smoke. My sincere sympathies to the family and friends of ALL deceased in the storm.
Carl W November 15, 2012 at 08:38 AM
" Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running." Good point I just wanted to emphasize. (Goes for motor vehicles, too. Don't have to '"cool down," however filling while running can = explosion!

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