Fire damages Las Cruces workshop

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Las Cruces, NM-  The Las Cruces Police Department reports: A fire that damaged a workshop and vehicles Monday on west Picacho Avenue appears to have originated, at least in part, from an overload of electrical cords and outlets.

About 5:40 a.m. Monday, Jan. 25, Las Cruces firefighters were dispatched to 1695 W. Picacho Ave. where flames were seen emitting from a large workshop. The building was fully engulfed when firefighters attacked the fire. Firefighters had the fire contained by about 6:10 a.m.

The fire extended to some vehicles that were parked nearby, but it was contained to the property. No injuries were reported.

Fire investigators determined that the fire likely originated, in part, by an overload of electrical cords and outlets. During the last several months the Las Cruces Fire Department has investigated several fires that were likely caused by unsafe usage of electric space heaters, electrical short circuits or power overloads.

A power overload occurs when too many devices are connected to the same power cord or outlet. That results in an excessive amount of current passing through the cord causing electrical wires to overheat and melt.

Las Cruces fire reminds residents and business owners to heed all recommended safety guidelines for power extension cords, surge protectors and electric devices.

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The Las Cruces Fire Department recommends contacting a qualified electrician if you have:
• Frequent occurrences of blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers.
• A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical device.
• Discolored or unusually warm wall outlets.
• A burning or rubbery smell coming from an electrical device.
• Flickering or dimming of lights.