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NH Fire Marshal Warns About ‘Junk Drawer’ Items After Amherst Blaze

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LONDONDERRY, NH (CBS) – New Hampshire’s Fire Marshal is warning people after a fire at an Amherst, New Hampshire home that is being blamed on a battery, paper clips, post-it notes, and other items stashed in a junk drawer.

The prongs of the battery, a 9-volt, apparently came in contact with a metal item and some paper. The metal item conducted the battery current, and the paper worked as fuel.

On Wednesday, Londonderry Fire Chief Mac Caffrie demonstrated for WBZ-TV just how it can happen.

“The potential is there,” Chief Caffrie said. “There are a lot of things in a normal junk drawer that do burn, and apparently the ignition source was a 9 volt battery.”

The battery warning surprised homeowners. Pat Kelley didn’t realize her junk drawer was full of things that could cause a fire.

“We didn’t know that. My husband nor I would even think of that,” she admitted.

Kelley says she’ll now heed the Fire Marshal’s warning, and separate her 9-volts from other items.

Chief Caffrie points out there are other easy solutions.

“Just take a piece of electrical tape and put it across the battery,” he said.

A simple move like that can protect your house from a very real risk.

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