The Missoula Fire Department responded to a small fire that broke out early Thursday morning in the South Hills. Fire Investigator Dax Fraser says the occupants of the home noticed a significant amount of smoke coming from downstairs.

“They woke up and they called it in, but it had mostly self-extinguished by the time the smoke got upstairs,” said Fraser. “It was in the basement portion, the only bedroom in the basement. The smoke had gotten upstairs, but it went out mostly by itself before the crews got there.”

Fraser says the fire destroyed a mini fridge and some carpeting, but did not do major damage to the structure.

“It started on an overloaded extension cord that was running a space heater in an apartment,” Fraser said. “It was an apartment with three different roommates and the roommate whose room it started in was not home. They did not have any working smoke detectors in the house. It could have been a bad deal if it got going.”

According to Fraser, many electrical fires are caused by overloaded extension cords. He recommends plugging electronics directly into the outlet or to use a fuse strip.