Laptop ignites fire that burns down Milford home

A fire caused by an overheated laptop completely destroyed a two-family home in Milford, Milford Fire Lieutenant Frank Ferrante said.

Just before 6 a.m., the Milford fire department received a call for a fire at 24 Water St., Ferrante said. Heavy black smoke pored from the front door with flames licking out as firefighters first arrived.

The fire originated from the first-floor apartment of the two-story building, where a laptop had been plugged in overnight, causing it to overheat, Ferrante said. The laptop was also in direct contact with combustibles — a cardboard box filled with clothing.

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Firefighters quickly determined the home was a total loss, Ferrante said, as flames jumped from the first floor to the balloon-frame home’s walls, allowing the fire to bypass the second floor and head straight into the attic. He said the two-alarm fire was knocked down just after 8:30 a.m. after causing $275,000 in damage.

The building’s residents, including a woman and her dog on the second floor and a mother with four children, aged 4 to 16, on the first floor, all escaped unharmed. The oldest child, a 16-year-old daughter, noticed the fire and woke her family up, Ferrante said. The father was at work.

Ferrante said he had heard of laptops overheating and igniting surrounding materials, but nothing to this extent.

“I didn’t expect it to burn down a house, but it did,” he said.

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