We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Dell laptop blamed for destroying home

Investigator claims laptop started house fire

A fire that destroyed a single-family home in Maine last week has been blamed on a Dell laptop that was plugged in and re-charging while sitting on a living room couch.

Christopher Stanford, a state fire marshal investigator, said the house fire at 117 Granite Street in last week began about 8:30am after the owners used the computer, then left it plugged in to charge while they went to work. The Dell Inspiron 1200 apparently "had something happen with the cord or the power unit on the cord," Stanford said, because the damage was most severe where the laptop and cord were located in the house.

"That was the only thing we had in terms of a heat source," Stanford said. Fire officials ruled out other potential causes or arson.

"The couch was totally burned out and the laptop was still sitting on what remained of the sofa" when Stanford conducted his investigation. No one was home at the time of the fire. The single-family detached house, which was about 130 years old, was a total loss with damage estimated at more than $100,000, Stanford said.

It was the second house fire caused by a laptop in the area since last summer, when a Compaq laptop erupted in flames and destroyed another home, he said.

A spokesperson for Dell could not be reached for comment. The owners of the home also could not be reached.

The laptop was reportedly not among the computers recalled last year for battery problems that could cause overheating and fires.


IDG UK Sites

Best January sales 2015 UK tech deals LIVE: Best New Year bargains and savings on phones, tablets,...

IDG UK Sites

Chromebooks: ready for the prime time (but not for everybody)

IDG UK Sites

Best Photoshop Tutorials 2014: 10 inspiring step-by-step guides to creating amazing art,...

IDG UK Sites

Mac tips tricks & hacks: 10 things you didn't know your Mac could do