Pup starts fire

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/02/06/pup-starts-fire.html



The ironer was still on?

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The article says it was clothes falling on an electric baseboard heater.


You beat me to it.

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I have no idea what type of heater it actually was, but anything that can start a fire that quickly has absolutely no business being left on in an empty house while unattended pets are present - or even if there are none. Indeed, anything that can start a fire that quickly probably has no business being installed in the first place.

ETA Likes aside, it seems it was not that quick after all and is probably not a portable or post-build-installed heater but some sort of central furnace feeding heat up through floor grates. See later posts.


Yes, and who let the heater on when there is no one home ?

Electric baseboard heaters should be intended to be run when no one is home.

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The lack of a smoke alarm going off is slightly disconcerting. Either I have too much faith in the ability of smoke detectors to detect fires or they don’t have any in that room.


Or actual security.


Indeed. But “stuff” should be kept away from them…apparently.

I read the article again, and it does not say “electric baseboard heaters” anywhere. It says that clothes and other items fell onto a floor heating grate, and something melted enough to flow down into the grate and catch fire from the furnace it self.
That was the fire. Not the iron, or any baseboard heater.


See my comment immediately above @Pradaldi. A design that allows something to catch fire that fast is not safe for unattended domestic use. Is it a bare heater coil? Or an air blower? Whatever, it is clearly not safe. I’d love to see the actual model/design.

ETA and then I saw your second comment - so the BB article was plain wrong to mention baseboard heaters. Figures.


Mistakes were made :dog:


Electric Baseboard Heaters is going to be the name of my techno-bluegrass Led Zepplin cover band!


The linked article says “radiant heat furnace.” I have no idea what that is and googling hasn’t helped. Seems like a poor design though if it’s meant to be left on unattended and can start a fire like that.

When watching the video, it’s normal to burst into tears with worry about these two nuggets, right?


Sounds perhaps like what I described as ‘bare heater coil’. Something a bit like this. Drop some clothes over this and there would be some fire in short order - especially if synthetic fabrics.

ETA the full phrase is “floor grate for a radiant heat furnace” here are the relevant extracts:

While narrowing in on the origin, which centered on the floor grate for a radiant heat furnace; investigators questioned the homeowner about the furniture and contents in the area of the heater. He indicated that nothing was placed on the heater floor grate but there was an ironing board set up near the grate along with a clothes basket, ottoman and other items…

…Nine-month-old “Kahuna” is shown rearranging the furniture by tipping the ironing board, a backpack and other nearby items onto the heater floor grate. The furnace was operating and produced sufficient heat to melt some items, which flowed into the heater and served as the necessary fuel to initiate the fire down inside the furnace unit.

Which does make one wonder where Rob got baseboard heater from.

So @David_Guilbeaul - ref your later comment, I would guess quite a lot of time passed, as you note.


Pure evil design. (more of a fit for cooking your profile picture)

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And of course, in reply to your comment, I ought to have immediately said:

ETA and one does not ‘cook’ toast, one ‘makes’ toast. :wink: