At the end of 2014, South Africa was unexpectedly required to implement load shedding, which is electricity blackouts aimed at relieving strain on the electrical grid. Soon after, it was revealed that the nationally owned power company, Eskom, had been neglecting infrastructure maintenance and that the people should expect load shedding to continue for many more years. The article considers the prevalence of fires as a potential consequence of load shedding. In addition to power surging that increases fire risk, this article investigates changes in household energy consumption as a mechanism by which load shedding would increase house fires. After load shedding started, there is evidence that households substituted away from using electricity to alternative energy sources for cooking and lighting that have increased fire risks. Using a novel data set, this article exploits plausibly exogenous variation in the timing and spacing of load shedding, estimates show that likelihood of residential fires increases when load shedding occurs in an area.