CINCINNATI - The popular summertime buzzing noise of air conditioning units is everywhere. Meant to keep you cool, these machines could ignite big problems.
Cincinnati Fire Chief Dick Braun said that you have to play it safe to avoid outcomes like Thursday’s Walnut Hills fire, with nearly $1.2 million in damage to two condominium buildings.
The cause of many fires like this? Electronics.
"We get a lot of calls on electrical fires, that's one of our main causes," said Braun. "The main thing you want to do with electrical appliances, is if you're not using them, keep them unplugged, keep them turned off."
Especially appliances like air conditioners.
"For an air conditioning unit or anything mechanical like that, just like your dryers, you know, keep the vents cleaned out, keep the filter cleaned, air conditioning units, furnaces, you know, have them serviced, you can get contracts with different heating and cooling places and they'll come out and just run a routine check and make sure that everything is going well."
The three-alarm fire ripped through the newly remodeled condos on Gilbert Avenue just after 1 p.m.
"It appears what happened is a fire started on the outside between the two homes and then went up the side of the building, into the attic, went through the eve and into the attic."
While the official cause is still under investigation, firefighters suspect it was sparked by an A/C unit underneath one of the condos' decks, between the two buildings.
Firefighters advanced fire attack hose lines and hand tools into both building simultaneously. The fire went from an offensive operation to a defensive operation do to the heavy fire involvement in the roof trusses. The roof collapsed each of the structures.
The buildings each contained four condos each. Damage to the buildings was estimated at $600,000 each.
While the cause of the fire is listed as “undetermined” at this time, Braun said, make sure you’re safe this summer so they don’t have to come to your house.
"For anything you have like a furnace, air conditioning unit, it's not a bad idea to have once, twice a year for someone to come out and check them and make sure everything is running correctly and they've got the right amount of fluids in them and that the filters are clean, make sure you change your filters," said Braun.
No one was injured in the fire.
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