Extension cord blamed for fatal fire
HUNTINGTON -- Investigators believe an overloaded extension cord likely ignited a weekend fire that killed a man in Huntington.
The incident happened shortly after 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the 900 block of Madison Avenue. Firefighters found the victim, Joseph Martin, unconscious in a second-floor hallway.
Huntington Fire Chief Carl Eastham said Monday investigators had pinpointed the fire's origin to an extension cord located underneath a living room couch.
Investigators believe the cord was overloaded, creating excess heat. Its close proximity to the couch made it easier to ignite, Eastham said. He noted it should serve as a reminder not to use lightweight extension cords.
Martin, 87, was pronounced dead at Cabell Huntington Hospital. He was a World War II Navy vet. He worked at the Nickel Plant and ACF before retiring from the U.S. Postal Service.
Huntington Fire Capt. John Sang also received a second-degree burn to his hand in fighting the blaze. He also was hospitalized, but later released. It's expected he will be off for a week to 10 days.
Martin lived at the residence with a son, who was not home at the time of the fire.
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