Misuse of surge protector causes fire in North Campus

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An electrical fault caused a fire in a North Campus apartment near Dean Keeton Street and Harris Park Avenue on Wednesday, displacing one woman and killing her cat.

No one was inside the unit at the time of the fire but the woman’s cat died from smoke inhalation.

The Austin Fire Department received a call at 11:53 a.m. and arrived at 606 Elmwood Place about three minutes later. Firefighters contained the fire to the apartment’s living room by 12:05 p.m., said Battalion Chief Thayer Smith.

Smith said misuse of a surge protector, with six additional outlets, led to the electrical fault.

Smith said only one unit in the 5-unit complex was affected by the fire, and it caused $5,000 in structural damage and $3,000 in damage to personal belongings. The complex manager will assist the resident by providing alternative living arrangements.