An overblown extension cord is to blame for an apartment fire in Dartmouth last week that has left about 60 people homeless.

Halifax regional fire spokesman Capt. Dave Meldrum said the fire at 50 Roleika Drive started from an apartment on the second floor in the bedroom area. He said a tenant ran an extension cord underneath some bedroom furniture to a television and cable box.

“The source of the ignition was an electrical cord that was overloaded,” he said. “This is ... accidental.”

Meldrum said in residential settings, they encourage people to only use extension cords for short-term, temporary work. He said for items needing regular power in a residence, a wall outlet should always be used.

“Certainly, when we use extension cords, consult with your provider ... to make sure the extension cord you are using is a heavy enough gauge to support the amount of power load you’ll put through it.”

Close to 100 people were living in the building that caught fire last Thursday evening. On Monday, residents learned that only about 25 apartments could be safely reoccupied, meaning two-thirds of the tenants won’t be able to return to the 74-unit building.

The Canadian Red Cross is seeking help from landlords or property managers in the Halifax-Dartmouth area to find accommodations for the people left homeless.

Help
Any landlords looking to assist with spaces available are asked to call 496-0103.