Officials issue warning after deadly electrical fire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Officials issue warning after deadly electrical fire

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A ribbon somberly hangs outside of a Nona Drive home in memory of 67-year old Vera Snell who died after a fire ripped through her home Saturday morning.

Now Albany Water, Gas and Light is issuing a warning after they say the fire was caused by illegally used electric extension cords.

Snell's 10-year old grandson LaCameron Clay called 911 from a neighbor's house as other family members tried to save her from the burning home.

"He injured himself trying to break into the house, trying to get in there," recalled Clay.

Officials say this is a tragic accident they believe could have been avoided.

Firefighters said the flames were caused by several power cords stretched from one home to another next door.They believe this is a mistake residents make too often. But they note that it's a problem that goes undetected every day.

"Well, it is illegal," said Lorie Farkas with Water Gas & Light. "One house supplying power to another through cords is never a good idea."

The utility service says supplying electricity from one building to another is not just illegal, but dangerous. The extension cords were not equipped to handle the load.

"Extension cords are not designed to run long distances and run major appliances," said Albany Fire Chief James Carswell. "You really can't run household appliances off extension cords. It's going to fail somewhere."

If you have any questions about extension cords and power strips, call your electric company.

You can also help the Snell family with funeral expenses by calling Bertha Daniels at 229-216-2188 or Reginald Snell at 229-288-9580.