Durham County

Malfunctioning microwave found to have sparked damaging fire in Durham

The microwave that caused last Friday’s apartment fire.
The microwave that caused last Friday’s apartment fire. Courtesy of the Durham County Fire Department

An internal malfunction of a microwave sparked the fire last Friday that damaged an apartment building, said Durham Deputy Fire Chief Chris Iannuzzi.

Firefighters were dispatched to a two-story residential building at the Valley Terrace Apartments, located at 2836 Chapel Hill Road, to fight the fire at 6:32 p.m. Friday, and upon their arrival saw light smoke coming from the second floor.

A fire within an apartment's kitchen was extinguished within five minutes. But, regardless of the quick action, the apartment still sustained heavy smoke damage throughout its rooms.

“An adjacent apartment incurred minor smoke damage,” Iannuzzi said.

A dog, of an unknown breed, bit one firefighter on the hand while the emergency worker was rescuing the dog from the burning building.

The bitten firefighter was treated by Durham County EMS. The hand is now in “good” condition, Iannuzzi said. “The dog ran from the area.”

The dog is believed to have been unharmed by the flames.

Colin Warren-Hicks: 919-419-6636, @CWarrenHicks