Midwest City Fire Victim Sends Out Warning On A/C Window Units

Friday, July 22nd 2011, 6:27 pm
By: News 9

Deanne Stein, News9.com

MIDWEST CITY, Oklahoma -- A Midwest City woman trying to stay cool is out in the heat picking up the pieces after fire rips through her home. Now, she warns others to be cautious when using window A/C units.

The fire happened Thursday night at Drake's home in Midwest City. She said after about 10 minutes of the unit running, she heard an explosion and saw her living room fill up with flames.

"I went into the kitchen and got some water, then turned on the air conditioner," said Georgia Drake. "I went to get my house clothes and heard a boom and saw flames everywhere."

She got out and is going to be okay. But the fire brings to light just how dangerous these units can be.

News 9 talked with Battalion Chief Brian Stanaland with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

"Any time we have extremes in temperature, we see a lot more fires in the city whether it's extreme hot temperatures or extreme cold temperatures," said Battalion Chief Brian Stanaland.

Stanaland offered these tips when using a window A/C unit:

-Make sure the unit is properly installed (where it leans slightly to the back outside of the window so that the water build up can drip out)

-Plug it directly into a wall outlet, don't use extension cords or a power strip

-Don't run the cord under carpeting or a rug

-Make sure the circuit breaker is strong enough to handle the A/C's power

-Keep vents clean

-Have working smoke detectors

Related Story: Air Conditioner Sparks Fire In Midwest City