Sydney: Baby’s room catches fire after powerboard overloads

A young mum has recalled the ‘utter panic’ she felt the moment she realised her baby’s room was on fire, with the infant inside.A young mother has relived a terrifying brush with tragedy when her daughter’s room caught fire with the infant inside. Mae Short found her 17-month-old daughter Margot surrounded by smoke and covered in black soot after a powerboard overloaded in the early hours of last Friday.The Sydney mum, who lives in Manly, described feeling “true and utter panic” when she heard Margot cough and realised what was happening.“Her room was just full of smoke, like soot, it was really thick. I couldn’t see her, or couldn’t see anything in there,” Ms Short told Channel 9.“She was covered in soot and her dummy (was) covered, just all over her, her clothes.”Ms Short said a powerboard in the room had overloaded, shorting out the home’s electricity and cutting off their baby monitor.NSW Fire and Rescue has highlighted the dangers of overloading power boards – particularly in winter when people are using more appliances to keep their homes warm.Heaters can draw large amounts of wattage and cause even good quality powerboards to overload.“I already had an idea in my head it wasn’t good to put too many things on it, so I thought I’d go get a good one,” Ms Short said.Powerboards with overload protection and built-in safety switches are available and consumers are advised not to place powerboards under or behind furniture or any place where they can’t be seen.It is also recommended to regularly clean powerboards to avoid a build up of dust and ensure all plugs are fitted correctly and not drawing too much electricity with power-hungry appliances.Originally published as Sydney mum recalls horror moment she discovered her baby’s room was on fire