Beware plastic power strips, and many thanks

To the Editor:

It is hard to believe it was a month ago that our little house in Waynesville burned. Through the shock, sadness, transition and confusion, two things have remained consistent in our minds. First, how very blessed we are to live in a community so caring and responsive, with friends, family, and neighbors’ support. Second, how very important it is to tell everyone how to avoid the simple, innocent act that caused the fire. Please know that I would not bother writing this if it did not seem it could help others.

Our home caught on fire from a plastic power strip, the type you plug in several devices to keep things safe. It has been explained to us that unfortunately those plastic devices, most often made in China, are not subject to the same safety regulations as those made here in the U.S. Furthermore, it is more a question of “when” it may cause a fire rather than if. The recommendation from several trained sources, both fire personnel and investigators alike, is to discard plastic strips and replace them with metal ones made in the U.S. It is a precaution well worth the extra expense.

We wish to express our deep gratitude and respect for the brave people, both staff and volunteers, that responded to the fire at our home, as well as those who tried reviving our elder kitty taken in his sleep by the smoke. You truly are a blessing to this community. We also want to thank our amazing neighbors for responding quickly, and then opening their homes and hearts to us. Thank you all for making Waynesville such a unique and special place to call home! Our house will be restored, our lifestyle simplified, and our hearts and souls left open by the grace we have received. We are grateful to be part of this community, and hope to ‘give back’ in the ways we can to support it.

Starr T. and David Hogan


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