Laptop on bed causes fire at NC home

Published: Oct. 31, 2011 at 8:06 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 30, 2011 at 9:24 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Many of us are guilty of leaving a cell phone or a laptop sitting out to charge on a bed or sofa. Doing that cost some Wilmington residents some precious belongings.

"Our whole second story is covered in black soot," said Stephen Vorwerk. "We have no clothes, no mattress, no pillows, no bed sheets, nothing. It's all gone just from leaving a computer plugged in and charging."

Around 2 a.m. Sunday, Vorwerk's house that he rents with his brother and a few other roommates caught fire.

He said the fire started because his brother left his laptop charging on his bed overnight. He said no one was home when the fire started in their Bonham Avenue house.

He said the smoke spread across the hall to his bedroom and destroyed $3,000 in computer equipment. It also destroyed some of his brother's military awards. Now, he wants to warn others not to make their mistake.

"If you leave something plugged in and charging, don't put it on anything that's flammable. Put it on a flat, wooden surface that's not going to heat up and start a fire," he said.

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