A laptop computer on a nightstand caused a mattress to catch fire in a Corvallis apartment Wednesday morning, according to Corvallis fire prevention officer Jim Patton.
Corvallis firefighters extinguished the smoldering mattress shortly after 10:30 a.m. at a ground-floor apartment in the 1800 block of Southwest 49th Street.
A smoke detector went off while one of the apartment’s three residents was in his bedroom, Patton said. When he discovered smoke and fire coming from another room, he closed the door to that room, left the apartment and called 911. His actions helped to contain the smoke and fire damage, Patton said.
“Fire damage was minimal and limited to the small area of origin near the nightstand and bed,” he said.
A 2008 MacBook Pro laptop computer was situated so that it was partially hanging over a wooden nightstand. Fire investigators believe the laptop’s battery malfunctioned and fell out of the laptop and onto the floor, where it ignited bedding, clothing and then the mattress.
The American Red Cross will assist the residents — who are students at Oregon State University — with finding temporary housing.
Patton cautioned the public to monitor laptop computers and to keep them away from combustible material when they are unattended. He recommended that they be serviced if they tend to run hot or if the batteries do not hold a charge.