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Light bulb causes fire

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December 30, 2003

Colquitt County - A light bulb sparks a fire at an assisted living home. Executive Director, Gail Lancaster, says, "We've all learned from this it's been a learning experience." No one was injured, but the freak accident can teach us all a lesson.

With every accident, you can learn a valuable lesson. After reading this story, you might want to check the light bulbs in your home. The wrong size bulb caused a morning scare for an elderly woman and her neighbors.

The skeleton of a lamp shade and half of a recliner burned, a light bulb is to blame. Fire Marshal Lavon Cooper says it's a rare sight. He holds the charred bulb and says, "In 23 years, this is the first time I've ever seen anything like this."

Joyce Tyndall got up Tuesday morning and turned on a lamp inside this room at Parks Regency Assisted Living Home in Colquitt County. Cooper tells us what she saw, "There was a flash and an explosion."

The bulb wattage was too high for the lamp and the bulb was loose. The home's Executive Director, Gail Lancaster, says, "With a 60 watt bulb this wouldn't have happened. We provide those free of charge to our residents."

Lancaster says all 58 residents were evacuated in under four minutes. The sprinkler system stopped the fire from spreading. Ironically, there was a fire drill scheduled for that same day. Lancaster laughs, "Needless to say, we don't have to have that fire drill tonight."

Tyndall is fine and will be staying in a guest room. Meanwhile, the other residents are back in their rooms.

Cooper believes the bulb that caught fire was a three-way bulb and could reach up to 250 watts, too powerful for this lamp.

Park Regency also owns Plantation Manor in Thomasville. Maintenance crews have already checked all bulbs in that assisted living home too.

posted at 5:30PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com