GFI Caused a Fire!

My neighbor just suffered a serious fire. His house had an enclosed porch at the rear, with an open, roofed desk connected to the porch rear. He had several GFI breakers out there, including one on the rear porch wall. Around one AM, when he and family were asleep, a fire started at that GFI switch (according to Fire Marshall), and got going pretty good before their dog started barking. That saved their lives for sure. Almost killed their dog and cat, though. The fire badly burned the rear half of the house and sent black soot throughout the rest of the house. The house is pretty well totaled.
That's what happened. I have to wonder how a GFI could do that! I heard the Fire Marshall actually say that what happened was the GFI wires arced, but that was not a 'short' to the GFI. Hence it didn't trip. So, the GFI presented no protection did it! The arcing just continued until it started the fire!
All this makes me think that my GFIs are not providing me the protection I always thought they did. I'm not sleeping as well these days.
Anyone have an opinion about this?
Thanks
me
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snipped-for-privacy@b.c wrote:

Can you find out from your neighbor what brand it was, and if anything was plugged in at the time? I've got GFI's in the kitchen and one of them trips from time to time with nothing plugged in.
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On Wed, 26 Jun 2013 16:57:04 -0700, "Guv Bob"

plugged in at the time? I've got GFI's in the kitchen and one of them trips from time to time with nothing plugged in.
Possibly. He and his family are living in temporary house several miles away, and I haven't seen him much since the fire. I am sure I will, though,
One post in this series seemed to intimate that replacing breakers may be a waste if one's house wiring uses what he called a 'common ground'. I need to determine what that is, and if I have same.
I have three breaker boxes, one for my generator. None have any special breakers. I am not too comfortable with all this.
me
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On Wed, 26 Jun 2013 16:57:04 -0700, "Guv Bob"

plugged in at the time? I've got GFI's in the kitchen and one of them trips from time to time with nothing plugged in.
See more lengthy posts in another newsgroup - alt.home.repair
me
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On 6/25/2013 6:29 PM, snipped-for-privacy@b.c wrote:

have outside by my pond.
JB
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