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AC short-circuit cause of deadly fire in Oman

PACDA official urges all homes to install smoke detectors that have saved many lives

Gulf News

Muscat: The house fire that claimed two lives in Seeb province, including a 10-year-old boy and a housemaid last Monday, was believed to have started in the air-conditioning unit, Gulf News has learnt.

An official at the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance (PACDA), said that the fire occurred due to a short-circuit in the AC unit in the bedroom where the housemaid and the boy were asleep.

The fire spread to other rooms in the house, which did not have any smoke detector.

The official urged all families to install smoke detectors in their homes. “It can save lives,” the official said, “especially in the summer when fires are more common”.

The house in the Mabala area of the Seeb province caught fire at 3:23am when the family was asleep.

Four other family members were injured in the blaze.

Fire fighters dispatched to the scene were able to put out the blaze in two hours, but it was too late for the boy and the housemaid who died of smoke inhalation and burns.

A case of fire is reported every three hours in the country and 23 per cent are in the in the residential areas, according to the National Centre for Information and Statistics (NCIS).

Most of the fire incidents are caused by faulty, counterfeit or ageing electric wiring, according to the PACDA.

In October, a seven-year-old Omani boy and his six-year-old sister were killed when their house caught fire in the Barka province, 69 kilometres away from the capital Muscat.