Electrical fire in kitchen - causes?

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Old 05-20-19, 07:45 AM
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Electrical fire in kitchen - causes?

Sorry if this seems like a joke. It isn't.

My apartment recently suffered a devastating fire that began in the kitchen.

It appears to have been caused by an electrical fault. Apparently the apartment's kitchen wiring was redone a few years ago before we bought it, it may have been faulty but we aren't sure.

The kitchen is very small, about 5 square metres. Here's a pretty basic diagram:

=======Oven/DW = Fridge
Sink ]
........]
=================(Entry)

The night before, me and my partner had pretty rough sex for about 5 minutes. She was sitting on the sink while I was standing up. At the same time, we left the hob on to cook.

Afterwards we turned everything off and went to sleep. The next day, at around 1pm, we put the dishwasher on and went out for a walk. Around 45 minutes later the neighbours called to say a fire had broken out in the kitchen and the firemen had been called. The entire kitchen was destroyed and we have had to temporarily move out while works are ongoing. The oven is a combo oven/dishwasher unit. The dishwasher had not been working for six months, and two weeks previously we had it repaired. The investigators say there were three 'starting points' but they have been unable to pinpoint the exact cause. One starting point was behind the fridge, and the other two were behind the hob.

I find of course the coincidence remarkable given that this is the only time we have ever had sex in the kitchen, but I'm hoping that this is just a coincidence. What could have caused the fire? I'm sure it's linked to the dishwasher - perhaps a faulty repair - but given that the unit is at the bottom and the starting points appear to come from behind the hob towards the top of the unit, I am at a loss to explain the cause. I have no clue how another starting point could have come from behind the fridge.

Any ideas?
 
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Old 05-20-19, 07:57 AM
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I don't think there is necessarily a link between your activity in the kitchen and the subsequent fire. The kitchen is by far the most common source of house fires just through normal use. In the U.S. for example, the kitchen accounts for 50% of reported fires, and the next most common source is heating equipment at 9%. The recently repaired dishwasher seems like a much more likely cause given it was on when the fire started. It is also reasonable the fridge had a malfunction or electrical circuit overload.
 
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Old 05-20-19, 08:02 AM
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That is reassuring. I was worried that 5-10 minutes of heavy 'vibrations' may have knocked loose a wire in the oven/dishwasher or something. Meaning that the next time we turned it on the next day (even though the hob had been running during our 'activity') it caused a short circuit, or something of that nature. However, I am hoping that isn't the case.
 
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Old 05-20-19, 08:05 AM
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It's possible of course, but I don't think it's necessarily the case given that kitchen fires are somewhat common anyway.
 
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Old 05-20-19, 09:50 AM
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I would suspect the dishwasher. I have had a problem with one. The cord to the dishwasher had been run into the machine's junction box but they didn't use a strain relief. The sharp edge of the junction box eventually cut through the wire's insulation and caused a short. In this case it simply made a "pop" sound before the circuit breaker tripped. Had the breaker not tripped there could have been a fire.
 
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