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Appliance malfunctions caused two residential fires

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 02:47 p.m. HST, Dec 24, 2011

 Cindy ellen Russell / crussell@staradvertiser.com A Honolulu firefighter left the rear of a walk-up structure at 434 Launiu St. in Waikiki after a fire gutted it Wednesday morning, causing an estimated $400,000 in structural damage and $50,000 to the contents.

Two recent residential fires were caused by electrical appliance malfunctions, Honolulu Fire Department investigations have concluded.

A fire at 790 Kaipii St. in Kailua on Dec. 16 was caused by a malfunction in a video game console battery charger, fire Capt. Terry Seelig said. The fire spread throughout the house from a cabinet in a living room in the rear of the home, causing $400,000 in damage, he said.

A malfunctioning hand-held electric massager is to blame for a fire Wednesday at 434 Launiu St. in Waikiki, Seelig said. That fire spread through the bottom-floor unit into a rental unit on the second floor, causing about $450,000 in damage, he said.

Seelig said consumers should regularly clean and inspect electrical appliances for signs of deterioration or damage.

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