Yuma, Arizona - Last night, just before 11:30 pm an apartment was reported to be on fire in the 2800 block of South 1st Avenue. Arriving Yuma Fire Department personnel found smoke coming from the roof of an apartment at 2830 South 1st Avenue. The apartment was one of a group of four connected apartments at that address. Flames were seen coming from a bathroom and it was found that the fire had already spread into the attic area.
Firefighters were able to contain and extinguish the fire before it could spread from the attic areas already burning and into the living spaces of the other apartments.
The fire was found to have originated in the area of the bathroom exhaust/ventilation fan and spread from there into the attic area, dropping burning debris into the bathroom. Fire damage in the living spaces of the apartment was contained to the bathroom but significant damage was done to the attic areas of this and an adjoining apartment. All residents were able to safely evacuate and there were no injuries.
Power to all 4 apartments was shut down and the American Red Cross was called to assist two families with lodging. This was the second bathroom fan fire yesterday. Fortunately in the earlier fire it was discovered early and damage was just to the immediate area of the fan.
Bathroom exhaust/ventilation fans are a common cause of residential fires. Ensure your exhaust/ventilation fans are cleaned frequently to avoid lint buildup, and always remember to turn the switch off when you leave the bathroom, with continuous long term use a fan can overheat. If your fan is showing signs of malfunction (for example, unusual noises like buzzing or humming, inconsistent operation, or fails to turn on), turn it off and do not turn back on until it can be repaired or replaced.