Obama Motors vehicle burns down garage


It’s a shocking tale.

BARKHAMSTED, Conn. — Fire officials suspect an electric hybrid car may have sparked an overnight blaze in a garage in Barkhamsted on Center Hill Road.

Homeowner Storm Connors and his wife, Dee, said they awoke to the sound of a smoke alarm around 4 a.m. The couple said they have lived in the home for nearly 40 years. They built it and raised their children there, so when the flames took over their attached garage Thursday morning, burning it down to its beams, the couple started to panic. They said they were worried they were going to lose their home and the memories inside.

So they unplugged it. And the fire restarted a few days later:

A fire apparently reignited inside the battery of a new Chevrolet Volt car early Monday, less than five days after the Volt, an electric hybrid, was involved in a blaze that destroyed a Barkhamsted garage where it had been plugged in for recharging.

Local authorities have been investigating whether Thursday’s blaze was sparked by the Volt, but had not yet determined a cause when the fire rekindled.

Rumor has it that the period in between fires was really a union mandated break.

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Yes but the garage deserved it.

They cal it ”The Law of Unintended Consequences” because it is a LAW.

One journalist is amassing published reports of those compact fluorescent light (CFL) that cause fires.
A couple examples:

“It blew up like a bomb. It spattered all over.” Fire Chief Mike Robbins said the blaze destroyed the room where the fire started and everything in it, and the rest of the house suffered smoke and water damage. The Arkport Village Fire Department as well as the North Hornell Fire Department required about 15 minutes to put out the fire. Link

“a newly-released investigators’ report that blames a February 12 fatal fire in Gallatin on one of those CFL bulbs.” Ben Rose, an attorney for the rehabilitative facility in which Douglas Johnson, 45, perished, said, “This result is consistent with our own private investigation. …We have heard reports of similar fires being initiated by CFLs across the country.” Link

October 5, 2010 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported: “Trisonic Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs Recalled Due to Fire Hazard” because of four incidents. It’s official notice states: “Hazard: light bulb can overheat and catch fire.” Link

Concerns about the toxic mercury in CFLs are downplayed by the bulbs’ advocates, but they shouldn’t be. According to EPA and other sources, the safe limit is 300 nanograms per cubic meter. When a broken CFL was reported in Maine, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection did the most extensive testing in the nation to evaluate the health risk. Its 160-page report is shocking:

Mercury concentration in the study room air often exceeds the…300 nanograms per cubic meter (ng/m3) for some period of time, with short excursions over 25,000 ng/m3, sometimes over 50,000 ng/m3. Link (PDF)


Nan G, Side note on curly bulbs. If you use them in an electronically controlled touch lamp, they will fry the electronics and pose a fire risk.

Electrical appliances have been starting fires since time immemorial. The Volt is a big electrical appliance. However, gasoline engine cars have also been known to start fires and cause garage explosions…to say nothing of carbon monoxide poisoning.


Last night my grandma and a friend came back from eating and managed to leave her car running in the garage – for 4 hours. The exhaust gases eventually built up enough volume and concentration such that they were ignited, most likely by the water heater pilot light.

The resulting explosion blew the double garage doors outward, along with the center brick pillar between them. It was a flash explosion that lasted a split second. Burnt some stuff inside the garage, but only really flimsy stuff that was easily ignited.

Before I go looking in the phone book I thought I would ask if anyone here is a general contractor and can handle a little structural repair to the front of the garage area, replacing the pillar, etc., then I am sure we’ll have to get a garage door company to fix the doors.

Her car is trapped in the garage right now, and I could break the door down to get it out, but once the door is removed, we need to get the garage fixed ASAP.

Let me know. I am working on uploading some pictures of the damage.

She is lucky the explosion happened or the CO would have killed her and her friend that was there. The fire chief was telling me the level throughout the house was off the chart !