Caravan fire may have been caused by an electrical source

Energy type: 
Electricity
 
Event summary: 
The Fire Service notified Energy Safety of a fatal caravan fire which occurred in Richmond. Energy Safety's assistance was requested in the investigation of this fire that may have been caused by an electrical source.

 
Accident ID: 
151019-03
 
Accident date: 
18 October 2015
 
Site: 
Domestic
 
Environment: 
Caravan/mobile home
 
Voltage: 
230
 
Equipment: 
EPODs/Power Boards / Multi Plugs/Multi boxes
 
Accident type: 
Fire
 
Casualty: 
Fatality
 
Injury: 
Burn, Asphyxiation, Toxicity
 
Property damage level: 
Extended to the site
 
Outcome of investigation: 

The fire, which resulted in a fatality, was most likely caused by a loose connection in an electrical portable outlet device (commonly known as a multi board or portable power board). The portable outlet device was in close proximity to a large quantity of combustible material within a caravan awning. The reason for the loose connection could not be determined, as only the metal contact rails remains where still present after the fire which indicated electrical arcing damage to one of the contacts. Because of the large amount of combustible material in the awning surrounding the portable outlet device, the fire would have expanded very quickly and, due to a strong wind that day, the fire would have blocked the only possible escape route from the only exit door in the caravan.