WATERTOWN, NY — The Jefferson County Fire & Emergency Management Office along with NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control Fire Investigation teams assisted the Carthage Fire Department with the cause and origin determination of two separate fires on June 8, 2021 & June 9, 2021 at 319 S.
Mechanic St. in the Village of Carthage.
On June 8, 2021 at approximately 02:30 hours, the Carthage Fire Department was dispatched the address and discovered the attic area on fire. Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire in the attic and checked for any other fire conditions in the structure with extensive overhaul and the use of thermal imaging (heat detecting) equipment. National Grid responded to the scene and shut the power off to the structure. Fire Investigators were able to determine the June 8 fire stated in the
attic area of the structure due to overheated wiring.
On June 9, 2021 at approximately 00:30 hours, a passerby reported a structure fire at the same address of the fire the prior day. The Carthage Fire Department was dispatched to the now unoccupied residence and found heavy fire coming from the master bed room located on the second floor. The master bedroom (area of origin June 9) was directly below the attic space where the first fire originated. Crews were able to extinguish the second fire quickly, however significate smoke and water damage occurred throughout the structure.
The Jefferson County Fire Investigation team thoroughly investigated the cause and origin of both fires. For the second fire, assistance from the NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control Arson team and their K9 Bree were also utilized. It was determined that both fires were related to the super- heated electrical system wiring and overloaded circuits. The first fire overheated combustibles in the attic area of the structure. The attic space wiring (point of origin of June 8 fire) was distributed in the walls of the second floor master bedroom (point of origin of June 9 fire). Despite thorough overhaul and the use of thermal imaging equipment after the first fire, it appears that the overheated wire in the walls smoldered for many hour before breaking out in the master bedroom.
It was determined that both fires were connected. The cause of the fire has been determined to be resistive heating in the wiring within the structure due to excessive current draw on the wiring.
This investigation is concluded at this time.
Joseph D. Plummer
Director/County Fire Coordinator