COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va (WRIC) — A crew working on trees in Colonial Heights knocked down a power line, which started a fire and shocked a nearby resident on Tuesday.
Around 3 p.m., nearly a half dozen homes on or near the 300 block of Walnut Avenue suddenly lost power as result of the incident.
“There was a tree service doing work, cutting down trees and the truck boom came in contact with the power lines,” said Colonial Heights Deputy Fire Marshall Joe Boisseau.
Boisseau said that contact caused a power surge that set a television and cable box on fire. Crews were able mark the fire under control while it was still small, and then attend to a nearby man who reported an unpleasant surprise in his bathroom.
“The one resident who received an electric shot through a faucet, he didn’t have any signs of injury but was transported (to the hospital) for observation,” Boisseau said.
Boisseau blames electricians who often grounded wiring in older homes to plumbing, which can be dangerous when there’s a surge.
And while that’s worth checking out if you own an older home, following simple safety rules may have eliminated Tuesday’s problems altogether.
“If you’re anywhere withing 10 feet of overhead power lines, you have to notify Virginia Power before you can do any work.
“This could have been more serious,” Boisseau added. “Someone could have been injured or killed, or we could have had major damage to a home.”
Both OSHA and Dominion are investigating the incident.