Recalled appliance malfunctions causing fire at Madison assisted care home, fire officials say

Recalled appliance malfunctions causing fire at Madison assisted care home, fire officials say
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A recalled appliance at a Madison assisted care home malfunctioned Monday afternoon, causing a fire, officials said.

The Madison Fire Department said crews were notified of a problem at 7710 S. Brookline Drive at 3:07 p.m. after an automatic fire sprinkler activated, sending an alarm to Dane County 911 Public Safety Communications Center.

The sprinkler kept the fire contained, which allowed on-site staff to deploy a fire extinguisher and put it out, the fire department said. Firefighters were directed to the location of the fire and found a heavily damaged dehumidifier.

The dehumidifier in use was an older model that had several recalls, fire officials said. A drainage tube attached to the collection tank allowed the dehumidifier to run without interruption.

The fire department said that although the fire produced a lot of smoke, damage was confined to the dehumidifier, and there were no injuries or displaced occupants because the automatic sprinkler caught the fire right away.

The fire department said crews have responded to a number of fires involving dehumidifiers that were recalled, were older models or were simply left to run constantly for indefinite periods of time.

“It is unsafe to allow your dehumidifier to run uninterrupted,” fire officials said. “Homeowners and occupants should use the proper collection tank which, when full, will prompt the dehumidifier to stop running until the tank can be emptied.”

The fire department also advised residents to make sure their dehumidifier hasn’t been recalled. The Consumer Product Safety Commission lists all appliance recalls on its website, cpsc.gov.

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