On Thursday May 25th 2017 at 6:20 pm the Westport Fire Department received a report of generator on fire at 10 Lookout Lane. When the fire department arrived firefighters found smoke coming from the attached garage with a fire in the garage. Firefighters quickly deployed hose lines and were able to put out the fire before it extended the living areas of the house. All the occupants were out of the house prior to the arrival of the fire department. The fire did extensive damage to the garage and there was smoke throughout the house which firefighters were able to remove with fans. During the subsequent investigation the fire marshal determined the fire was the result of generator running because of the power outage; the exhaust from the generator ignited the siding at the rear of the house causing the fire. The Westport Fire Department would like to offer the following tips for safe portable generator use:
• Always read and follow the manufacturer's operating instructions before running generator
• Engines emit carbon monoxide. Never use a generator inside your home, garage, crawl space, or other enclosed areas. Fatal fumes can build up, that neither a fan nor open doors and windows can provide enough fresh air.
• Only use your generator outdoors, away from open windows, vents, or doors.
• Use a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector in the area you’re running a generator.
• Never operate the generator near combustible materials, the exhaust is hot and will ignite combustible materials.
• Never plug your generator directly into your home outlet. If you are connecting a generator into your home electrical system, have a qualified electrician install a Power Transfer Switch.
The Westport Fire Department responded with 22 firefighters and officers staffing 4 Engines and 1 Ladder Truck, additional assistance was request from both Fairfield and Norwalk Fire Departments to help both at the fire and cover the town of Westport.