WILMINGTON -- A Wilmington man called our newsroom recently to tell us about a fire at his home. Gary Pace says the fire started when his ADT home security system malfunctioned. Now, he wants ADT to pay for the damages. But does he have a case? "The smoke was billowing out the front, because the smoke had gotten to the level that it would come out through the wall there," Pace said. Pace is lucky he was home when a fire started in the wall behind his living room. He quickly grabbed a fire extinguisher and put the fire out. But the damage was done. You can see some of the smoke damage along the ceiling. And the chemicals used to put out the fire also killed some of his fish. Pace said, "When the fire department came out, they made sure that everything was out, and checked everything, and they told me at that time I need to get hold of an electrician, before I turn any of the power back on." The electrician came the following Monday. His report shows that the fire appeared to start on the ADT Security module. Pace called ADT and representatives referred his case to ADT's insurance company. But the adjuster rejected Pace's claim without ever coming to his house, saying the electrical outlet caused the fire. You can see what's left of the module in question. We're not electricians, but it looks like the module melted from the inside out. And the part that was plugged into the electrical outlet appears to have suffered the least amount of damage. Pace "I think they realize that it would cost me more to sue them than the damage, so they just turn their back on me, and I've been with them for 18 years, with two businesses and this house." Pace says the damages total about $10,000 Luckily he has homeowner's insurance. His insurer has agreed to cover the cost of repairs, and then see if they can get ADT to reimburse them. But Pace says out of principal, his insurance company shouldn't have to pay. There is some good news to report. An attorney for ADT said the company is willing to have another licensed electrician take a look at Pace's melted security module. The attorney says he's never known of a security module to start a fire, but if the electrician decides that's what happened here ADT will pay Pace's claim.
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