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Electrical Wiring in the Home/Microwave Short Or Lousy "Cook"?



My lengthy post was deleted so this'll be short. I had 1 1/2" - 2" of canola oil in a kettle on medium heat. The kettle was covered with an old, cheap splatter screen. There was a great deal of smoke and a 50' range ceiling sprinkler went off. There were no flames. I reached over the kettle to turn off stove. My brand new apartment was heavily damaged by smoke and 20 minutes to half an hour of pouring ceiling sprinkler damage. The apartment needs to be rebuilt. The fire was 5 days ago and I'd only lived there for about 18 days. I took 100% full responsibility for everything with the Fire Department, my Apartment Complex Manager and my Renter's Insurance Company. However, none of the Officials will answer any of my questions. The Official yesterday "unofficially" sort of answered when I pointed out the stove had no grease on the top, sides, back, floor or towel hanging on the oven handle. The plastic burner control backsplash and knobs are intact with no damage. The microwave melted onto kettle handle and then onto stove, but half of microwave is not melted. The cupboard above the microwave is charred. The mesh splatter screen on the kettle is still silver in a semi-circle where there is no glass or melted plastic. The splatter screen plastic handle is intact. After sobbing for days and studying every nook and cranny, I'm now wondering if the microwave shorted and what my percentage of culpability may actually be for this disaster. I've been relocated (on a day-to-day basis) by my Complex Management but the Officials are still flowing into the apartment and no repairs have started. I will submit some of the photos.. Was it a microwave short in your opinion?


Its not unusual they would not tell you anything during an ongoing investigation.

Highly unlikely it was the microwave. The pot was directly under the side of the micro that sustained the damage. Plus it took sustained heat to set the sprinkler head off which strongly suggests it was the pot not the micro.

I discussed your situation with a close friend who is an X Fire Chief. He says it was an accident and the apartment owners insurance should cover all the structural damage to your apartment and any others. However if you don't have renters insurance your belongings most likely would not be covered.

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Licensed Master Electrician (32 years) 6165B Contractor in Closter New Jersey with 40 years total experience in Residential - Commercial - Industrial work. Emergency Service - General trouble shooting and repair work - ONAN & GENERAC generator installation - Paddle fans - Kitchen & Bath exhaust fans - AC lines - Smoke detectors - Telephone lines - Cable TV lines - Computer network cabling - Exterior lighting - Recessed lighting - Security lighting - (200 - 150 - 100 amp service up grades) - Electric Heat - New circuits - New appliance hook ups - and more ! FREE ESTIMATES 201-358-1552 Fully Insured


Licensed contractor in Closter New Jersey.

"The Frank Williams School of Electrical Construction". My dear old boss is 100 ! and still going God Bless him. I started working for "Tenafly Electric" right out of high school at 19. He was tough but I learned more working for him in 8 and half years than most guys. We did mostly industrial work while doing some commercial and residential so I was fortunate to be exposed to all 3 areas of electrical construction. The guys I worked with were all good guys and I stay in touch with some of them still. Most of us went into our own buisness's which says something about the caliber of the guys I worked with. We had some interesting clients : Wella Corp. of shampoo fame, Farah Fawcett etc, I didn't buy shampoo for 10 years. It was a great place to work. Pan Am the former airline just before they went under, another great place to work, nice clean environment. C&C Metals, the largest button manufacturer in the US at that time, a not so clean environment but a very interesting place to work, lots of machine's cranking out buttons of all kinds but you had to be on your toes, it was a potentially dangerous place to be . All kinds of action going on around you.

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