On Friday night at around 9PM there was a fire in a building on 183rd & Pinehurst Avenue, just at the top of the stairs. It was apparently started by an air conditioner left running unattended in an apartment.
Residents said that the occupants of the apartment had left the apartment, but had kept the air conditioner running. Neighbors heard an explosion and called 911; the fire department was praised for responding quickly and efficiently. Though the apartment upstairs suffered smoke damage and the one just below had significant water damage, no one was injured.
Pictured here is the front of the apartment; all the windows were knocked out by the fire department and are now covered in plastic sheeting.
One young woman who lived across the alley-way in another part of the building said that the explosion caused debris to land on her air conditioner; when her mother looked outside she saw the flames across the way.
This is the window that held the air conditioner. Not pictured is the charred mattress and singed air conditioner that lay in the alley-way below, after being thrown out of the apartment by the firefighters. (These items were already cleaned up when we returned to take photos).
Two important take-aways!
1. Check your air conditioners and other appliances to make sure that they are in good shape and not at risk of starting a fire! And please don't leave air conditioners or other secondary appliances running when not at home.
2. Invest in renter's insurance! State Farm, which is in the neighborhood, is just one supplier of renter's insurance. It's not costly and can help protect you and your belongings even when it's not your apartment that suffered a fire (e.g. the apartments above and below with smoke & water damage).