Terry Siegel’s reef aquarium catches fire

by Owen James

Ever wondered whether your fishtank is a danger to your home? Me neither (my wallet, now that’s another matter!)

Maybe we should think again though, because the new issue of Advanced Aquarist’s magazine features a startling tale from renowned reefer Terry Siegel, whose house caught fire.

According to inspectors from his insurance company, it’s likely one of his reef lighting ballasts either overheated or shorted out before bursting into flame.

Terry lost two surgeonfish in the incident, which is tragic (this expert reefer has corals he’s kept alive for 30 years), but if you see the pictures and read the full report on Terry’s reef accident, it seems he got away lightly:

All this took place around noon, and I was able to get a plane back to Portland, Maine from Cleveland, OH. I arrived at about 1:30AM the next day. Everything in the basement was covered with acrid black ash, with plenty of ash in the water. There were broken fluorescent tubes in the refugium. After a close inspection I discovered that a 4-foot fixture, with a plastic housing, had melted and fallen into my refugium, which was connected to the system. There even were broken tubes lying on the bottom of the refugium. The skimmers were not running and had been knocked over by the firemen. All of the fish were hiding and the corals were slimmed up.

Luckily the tank inhabitants couldn’t have been in better hands, and he was able to restore the system to its normal loveliness.

Has anyone else had something like this happen to their reef lighting? Please do let us know in the comments below.

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