Recent Fosbee Apartments fires may be related

The fire marshal is still investigating an electrical fire at the Fosbee Apartments Wednesday night, and he thinks a Christmas Eve fire in a second floor apartment was related to Wednesday’s event.


“The Capital City Fire Marshal’s Office will be working with the Building Department and the owner for compliance with fire and life safety issues with the building,” Fire Marshal Dan Jager wrote in his report on the Borough website. “It is believed that the fire that occurred on Christmas Eve may have been caused by a power surge due to electrical problems in the building.”

Power was restored last night to the Fosbee Apartments, allowing tenants to spend the night at home after the electrical fire caused the fire department to evacuate the building.

Firefighters were called at 4:45 p.m. according to a new release on the incident, and responded to the second floor to reports of smoke.

Power was cut to the building after firefighters couldn’t isolate the second floor’s power.

“The main power disconnect to the building was malfunctioning and fire personnel decided to have the building evacuated for the night until an electrician could repair the problem before letting tenants reside in the building,” Jager wrote.

The problem, however, was resolved according to a resident who was coming home from a holiday trip.

Resident King Lam told the Empire via email that while in a taxi from the airport, after a trip to see relatives in New York City, the fire trucks made for an unusual homecoming.

“They were evacuating the building. I was quite mortified. One of the Red Cross volunteers said they were going to set up something in Centennial Hall. I decided to go get a hotel room and hoped they would resolve everything by morning,” Lam wrote.

After dinner at a local restaurant, Lam didn’t need to use the hotel reservation — a fellow tenant brought the news that power was back on at the apartments.

“An interesting ending to a perfectly pleasant vacation,” Lam wrote.

The fire on Christmas Eve was first attributed possibly to holiday lighting. It caused $5,000 worth of damage to an apartment whose renter had no insurance. That blaze was knocked down by a maintenance employee.

As happened on Wednesday, the apartments were evacuated on Christmas Eve while firefighters made sure there were no hotspots.


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