Ocean City Today

Improperly installed furnace sparks house fire in resort

Natural gas appliance was connected to propane line without proper conversion
By Katie Tabeling | Mar 30, 2017
Photo by: Town of Ocean City Firefighters responded to a house fire on Flounder Avenue on Friday evening. The blaze was extinguished quickly and no one was inside the house at the time.

(March 31, 2017) An improperly installed gas furnace caused a house fire in Ocean City last weekend.

On March 27, Ocean City firefighters were dispatched to a fire in the 200 block of Flounder Lane around 7 p.m. Firefighters quickly brought the blaze under control. No one was home at the time of the fire.

Investigators from the Fire Marshal’s Office determined that the fire started from a gas furnace in the house’s living room. The furnace had not been properly converted to use the propane fuel that supplied the house.

“Connecting a natural gas appliance to a propane piping system will result in appliance malfunction and possibly danger,” Fire Marshal David Hartley said in a press statement.

Installing a fuel-burning appliance that is incompatible with the supply fuel, propane or natural gas, will likely result in a fire or carbon monoxide issue in your home or business, according to the Fire Marshal’s Office. Before installing any type of fuel-burning appliance, check with your utility carrier to ensure you know if your home has natural gas or propane, and ensure your installer properly converts the appliance to match the supply.

Hartley added that most fuel-burning appliances available today are designed to convert to propane or natural gas.

“The internal connections and gas utilization fittings are designed to work with a particular gas that has a specific pressure, but must be set up from the factory. [That will] ensure they match the type of gas supplied to the site,” he said.

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