Cell phone charger was likely cause of Sunday house fire at Vinson Street

Fire officials said a charging cell phone was likely the cause of a house fire on Vinson Street Sunday morning that left one family member slightly injured.

Fire officials said a cell phone charging unit was the probable cause of an early Sunday morning house fire at Vinson Street in Williamson, which resulted in one family member being slightly injured.

According to WFD Chief Joey Carey, the fire broke out in an upstairs bedroom of the rental house which is owned by Kevin Williams and was being occupied by Panzy Smothers, her daughter, and two granddaughters.

Carey said one of the granddaughters was awakened after being burned on the foot by a fire that had likely begun in the area of her bed where her cell phone was charging.

The granddaughter subsequently alerted the rest of the family, Carey said, who then attempted but failed to extinguish the fire with water.

“Like so many people do, she apparently was charging the phone overnight and at some point something malfunctioned and it caught on fire,” Carey said. “When they couldn’t put it out they evacuated the house and called us.

“We were there in a couple of minutes and attacked it from inside the home and were able to get it out pretty fast”

Carey said the granddaughter was taken to Tug Valley ARH Regional Medical Center and treated for her burns.

“The fact that she received burns to her foot was apparently the thing that woke her up,” he said. “The whole family was very lucky it wasn’t a great deal worse than what it was.”

Although the fire was contained to the upstairs bedroom, Carey said other parts of the home, including much of the downstairs area, received smoke and water damage.

“I got them in contact with Red Cross to help with finding other housing, as well as for things they’ll immediately need like clothes,” he said.

Aside from the WFD, the Chattaroy Volunteer Fire Department was additionally on the scene providing mutual aid.

There were no other injuries, Carey said.

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