A slow pipe leak sparked a fire in the basement of a business building in the 200 block of South Main Street in Toledo Saturday afternoon.
The call came in on a smell of smoke…operators of the Sassafras Sue’s Restaurant telling 9-1-1 that they could smell something like electrical wires burning. Fire units raced to the scene and found that the owner had grabbed a fire extinguisher and got into the bottom floor storage area, saw the flames and doused them pronto. Toledo firefighters pulled up and made sure the fire was out and then set about clearing the area of smoke.
An investigation revealed that the source of the fire was the hot water heater. Fire fighters say there is a leaky pipe above the hot water heat that was dropping water on top of it. The water found its way down the side and shorted electrical wires going into the heater. Sparks flew onto an old sock lying near the heater and it caught fire.
Moral of the story is make sure that any hot water heater has plenty of clear space around it and is free of anything that might cause it to malfunction. In this case, a leaky pipe.