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Hotel fire caused by cord short

March 1, 2013


Starkville Fire Department officials confirmed the cause of a fire Thursday that destroyed the interior of a hotel room at Americas Best Value Inn & Suites on Miss. Highway 12 as electrical.

SFD Training Officer Charles Yarbrough said he concluded in his investigation that the fire was started by a short in a lamp cord.

“The way the cord was wrapped up, it was stuck under the lamp and wore out after a while,” Yarbrough said. “We could tell by looking at the lamp and checking the cords out that it had to come from there.”

He said friction likely caused the shorted cord to ignite, and sparks caused the carpet to catch on fire, which then spread to a couch and the wall.

On Thursday, a shift manager at the hotel said she called 911 after a customer came into the lobby and said he saw smoke emitting from the back of the building. The manager, who refused to be identified, said neither the room where the fire took place nor any nearby rooms were occupied at the time the smoke was first reported and there was no one in the vicinity of the fire.

Yarbrough said everything in the room, from the furnishings to the walls would have to be replaced, but said the hotel’s structural integrity was satisfactory as the rooms were designed to contain and isolate fires.

Attempts to contact a shift manager on Friday were unsuccessful.

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