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Family loses belongings, puppies in fire

By Gheni_Platenburg
Sept. 10, 2010 at 4:10 a.m.


Plug the unit directly into an outlet or power strip. Do not use an extension cord.

Air conditioners can use a lot of power,so keep in mind the circuit you are connecting the unit to. If the same circuit powers other high-energy appliances- refrigerators, dryers, vacuums - consider plugging it in elsewhere. The cord's package should say either "air-conditioner cord" or "major-appliance cord." These cords are rated for the heavy current draw that an air conditioner will impose. Use the shortest cord that will do the job. Clean the filter at least twice a year to maintain maximum energy efficiency.

Keep the unit clean. If the unit becomes clogged with dirt, it can't function properly, causing it to overload, overheat and catch on fire.

When choosing a window to place the air conditioner in, keep fire safety in mind. An air conditioner can block egress in the event of a fire, especially if the unit is in a room with only one window.

Information courtesy of Victoria County Fire Marshal Ron Pray and

HOW TO HELPThe Lavina family lost all their personal belongings in the fire. They are in need of the following items in the listed sizes:

15-year-old girl

Shirts: Large

Pants: 5/6

Shoes: 7

8-year-old boy

Shirts: Medium

Pants: 9 slim

Shoes: 4

7-year-old girl

Shirts: Medium

Pants: 7/8

Shoes: 4

6-year-old Boy

Shirts: Medium

Pants: 7/8

Shoes: 3

Donations can be made through the American Red Cross Crossroads Chapter, located at 2805 N. Navarro St., Suite 500. The chapter can be reached at 361-573-2671.

PLACEDO - A window air conditioning unit is to blame for a fire that destroyed a house in the 190 block of Park Street on Thursday morning.

Victoria County Fire Marshal Ron Pray said the fire started with an air conditioning unit in the front room.

"It had a problem, which caused the electrical system to overload," Pray said.

One issue that was noticeable in the fire ruins was that the extension cord attached to the unit was not adequate enough for its heavy current, according to Pray.

The Victoria Fire Department, along with the Placedo, Bloomington, Lone Tree and Telferner volunteer fire departments, all responded to put out the fire, which started about 11:30 a.m. and lasted for more than three hours.

The fire was fully involved once crews arrived on the scene.

April Lavina, 34, and her four children had been renting the one-story house for the past five years.

No one was home at the time of the fire.

Although there were no human injuries, eight 5-week-old puppies that were in the home did perish in the flames.

The fire also caused damage to a neighbor's trailer home and truck.



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