A fire caused by the improper use of an extension cord displaced five people in Temple Wednesday evening.

The cord was run from a bedroom and into the back yard through a window of a two bedroom home in the 1300 block of South 4th Street. The cord was exposed to the recent rains and shorted out, sparking the fire.

Firefighters were called to the scene around 6:30 p.m. When they arrived, they split up, with some fighting flames inside the home and others searching for anyone possibly trapped inside. The search determined that everyone occupying the home had exited safely. The fire was under control by 6:51 p.m. The American Red Cross is working with the displaced family to assist with immediate needs, and Temple Professional Firefighters Local 846 provided lodging for them Wednesday night.

Fire crews did not find any working smoke alarms in the home.

In response to the fire, Temple Fire and Rescue released a list of safety tips, which read as follows:

  • Use only surge protectors or power strips that have internal overload protection and have the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Avoid putting cords where they can be damaged or pinched by furniture, under rugs and carpets, or across doorways or windows.
  • Water and electricity don’t mix.
  • A working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire.
  • Practice a home escape plan frequently with your family.