50-year-old construction flaw may have sparked house fire

MONROE, NC (WBTV) - A family of five was forced from their Union County home overnight after flames consumed the house - and investigators say a 50-year-old construction flaw could be to blame.

Firefighters were called out to Charles Franklin Street around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, after neighbors reported the fire.

The homeowner said he was awakened when the power went off in the house, and when he went outside to investigate, noticed flames coming out of a vent in the roof.

He grabbed a garden hose to try to douse the flames, but said the fire got away from him, and started ravaging the home.

It took firefighters a while to get the fire under control, but it only took investigators a few minutes to figure out what started the fire. An electrical problem in the wall just above the main breaker box located in the laundry room.

The damage done however, will take much longer to repair.

The fire investigator told the homeowner a nail put in during construction may have nicked a wire in the wall. He said it could take years before a short occurred, causing a fire like this one.

The home was built back in the late 1960s.

The family said the Red Cross was called in to help. The house is believed to be a total loss.

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