Overloaded extension cords cause of fire


An overloaded electrical system is thought to be the cause of a Feb. 7 fire that destroyed a tiny home inhabited by a young woman and her dog. Neither was injured.

The home was located near the GreenPod Development home building business at 1531 W. Sims Way, according to East Jefferson Fire Rescue (EJFR).

The woman said she had been staying there for more than a month with the permission of the owner, according to EJFR. Ann Raab, owner of GreenPod, confirmed that.

Raab said part of the reason she let the woman live in the tiny home was to try to help out with the shortage of affordable housing in Port Townsend.

“She was a night watchman,” Raab said of the resident, who has not been named.

According to EJFR, the structure was not permanently wired with electricity and had a daisy chain of electrical extension cords going into the building from elsewhere on the property. A portable heater, laptop and one other item were all plugged into the extension cord, according to fire officials.

The resident stated that she awoke to a crackling sound on Wednesday, Feb. 7 and immediately saw flames on the wall near her bed. She and her small dog evacuated the structure.

Firefighters responded to the fire at 6:05 a.m. and had the fire extinguished about 10 minutes later. Firefighters spent another 20 minutes doing clean-up work. Sims Way was blocked by fire and police vehicles until approximately 7:30 a.m.

The fire destroyed the small building, which was approximately 150 square feet in size.

The American Red Cross was contacted to provide shelter and basic amenities to the woman.

“It was an electrical fire from an extension cord. It was just an accident,” Raab said.

The burned structure was removed from the lot, Raab said.

Raab said that although the home was insured, she hadn’t claim the loss. The value of the tiny home was not available.

“It was just a shed” and didn’t have a kitchen, Raab said of the structure, which was a kit home that was about 4 years old.


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