Glitch in Christmas Tree Lights Sets Fire That Kills Couple

Elderly couple's home filled with smoke
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 16, 2016 6:20 PM CST

(Newser) – Authorities say a Utah couple has died after malfunctioning Christmas tree lights sparked a fire at their house, the AP reports. South Davis Metro Fire spokesperson Jeff Bassett says the fire ignited Thursday night in a front room of the home about 10 miles north of Salt Lake City. Bassett says investigators believe the husband and wife used a fire extinguisher to try to put out the flames but they were overcome by smoke.

Bassett says 74-year-old Melba Mecham and 77-year-old Gary Mecham were unconscious when firefighters pulled them from the home. They died at a hospital. Bassett said neighbors had called 911 and tried to rescue the couple, but the front door was too hot to open. Neighbors say the Mechams had lived at the home for 49 years. (Read more Christmas lights stories.)

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