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FL: Christmas Tree Electrical Fire ends in $100,000’s of Damage

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Cape Coral, Florida. -The owner of a Cape Coral country store hopes to rebuild after an electrical fire caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. We’re told it sparked near a Christmas tree.

Outside, pieces of the building are still scattered about.  You can see the yellow tape surrounds the front, and the building is boarded up.  It’s unsafe to go inside, where you could once find special antiques and country collections

“Everything is gone. We didn’t think it looked so bad when we were standing outside. But there’s really nothing much left,” said owner Donna Freeman.

She is devastated. With Christmas around the corner, she was looking forward to a busy season. Instead, she is picking up the pieces of her dream business, which we’re told, she recently remodeled. She calls her country store “Rustic Gatherings” and today it’s a gathering of friends, co-workers and the customers she loves giving hugs of support.

“I just want to thank the people that came and the sent emails, and posted on their Facebook,” she said.  “Again, it makes me cry. I love that, and will never be able to repay that kindness.”

“I just said hi, and dropped off some muffins and told her to hang in there,” said a customer.

The sign outside says “Heart N Home” but Freeman acquired the country store this year and had not yet changed the name. Now a lot more changes are in store after Thursday morning’s blaze consumed an estimated $200,000 of merchandise and building.

Flames could be seen from the roof. WINK-TV has learned it sparked accidentally, near a Christmas tree, and is electrical in nature “If you look on the big picture, we’re ok. No one was hurt and no one is dead,” said Freeman.

Some of the surrounding businesses have some smoke damage. At this time, its unclear when this country store will open again but they are hoping to rebuild as soon as possible.

Story via winknews.com

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PA: Electrical Fire Shuts Gabriel Brothers Down

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

York, PA: An electrical fire Wednesday afternoon closed businesses in a Springettsbury Township shopping plaza.

Fire crews were dispatched to Gabriel Brothers, 1226 Greensprings Drive, just after 4 p.m. for the fire, said Robert McCoy, chief of York Area United Fire and Rescue.

They arrived to find that an electrical box and transformer had overloaded, causing a small fire, he said.

All stores and businesses in the plaza were evacuated and power was shut off to the plaza as Met-Ed crews worked to isolate and fix the problem.

Damage was contained to electrical components, McCoy said.

Power had been restored to most businesses but Greensprings Family Medicine was still without power on Thursday morning, McCoy said.

Story via yorkdispatch.com

CANADA: Arc Flash Victims get Air Lifted

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

REGINA, CANADA — The STARS air ambulance is to received $10 million over the next five years from the province’s Crown corporations.

The Crown Investments Corporation, SaskPower, SaskEnergy, SaskTel and SGI will each contribute $2 million toward this initiative within the five-year time frame.

“STARS is a natural fit for the Crowns to support,” Donna Harpauer, minister of Crown investments. said in a news release. “The government as a whole has committed to support STARS and the Crowns have crews working in rural and remote areas across the province, sometimes in hazardous conditions. We all have a stake in public safety and emergency response.”

STARS began providing service out of Regina on April 30 and the Saskatoon service followed on Oct. 15.

On Dec. 12, the air ambulance services was called after two SaskPower employees were injured.

“There was a workplace incident, there were no fatalities,” said Heather Johnson, SaskPower spokeswoman. “Two employees did suffer injuries as a result of an electrical arc flash. They are recovering from those injuries.”

However due to the weather STARS was unable to transport the two victims for treatment.

Johnson said she was unable to provide any more additional information about the injuries sustained by the two workers because “that’s personal health information.”

She said SaskPower is currently investigating the incident.

“We are in co-operation with Labour Relations and Workplace Safety,” said Johnson.

Alter is located 120 kilometres east of Estevan and three kms from the Manitoba border.

To date, STARS has flown more than 140 missions in Saskatchewan.

“We’re extremely grateful for this support,” said Rod Gantefoer STARS foundation executive director in a news release. “We’re still a young organization in this province and this will allow us to be there when we’re needed as we continue to build our fundraising capacity.”

Story via leaderpost.com

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NJ: Arc Flash Injures 2 at Meat Processing Plant

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

West Caldwell, NJ: An explosion rocked Al & John Inc. and injured two contractors on the morning of Sat., Dec 8.

Francois MacFarlane, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Jason Defaoite, of Oak Ridge, N.J. were working on an electrical panel in the Al & John Inc. meat processing plant when the panel exploded due to an electrical arc flash.

The West Caldwell Fire and Police Departments, as well as the Fairfield police and Caldwell fire department, responded to the scene and the building was evacuated. The fire department was initially unable to put out the blaze from the explosion since the panel was still electrically charged, according to West Caldwell Fire Chief James Alvine.

The electricity in part of the building was shut down, allowing the firefighters to clear the building and have the power back by approximately 11:30 a.m.. The West Essex First Aid Squad transported the two contractors to Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.

Story via newjerseyhills.com

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CA: Fisherman Shocked, Avoids Electrocution

December 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Half Moon Bay, CA: Is Barry Day the luckiest or unluckiest man alive?

Day, a 50-year-old Pillar Point Harbor fisherman originally from New Zealand, has had a lifetime’s worth of tight scrapes, unforeseen accidents and sudden tragedies over the last year. On three occasions in 2012, he nearly lost his life. Those close calls cost him a fishing boat, an assortment of injuries and a small fortune in medical bills.

But through a combination of luck and pluck, Day has always been able to bounce back with gusto. Doctors and friends at the harbor now dub the happy-go-lucky fisherman, the “miracle man” after he barely escaped death once again last month.

In his latest brush, Day was nearly electrocuted just one day before Thanksgiving when a hookup fed a current through a puddle of water in his boat docked at Pillar Point Harbor. At the time, he was using an electric pump to replenish the water in his crab tanks.

Penny Webb, co-owner of the boat “Cricket,” was finishing up the crab sales for the day, when she heard Day yell out in pain across the dock. Her husband, Bill, spotted Day falling forward onto the deck of his boat and ran over to help.

“It was a heart attack, that’s what I was thinking,” Webb said. “He was laying over a motor … and I grabbed the motor — which was stupid — and I felt a tingle in my hand.”

Webb realized Day was being shocked by electricity, and he might have suffered the same jolt if he wasn’t wearing rubber boots that day. In contrast, Day was reportedly wearing leather shoes and his clothes were drenched in saltwater, making his body an excellent conductor.

Webb and other fishermen arriving to help began yanking out every power cord they could find around the boat while Penny called 911. Webb tried to shield Day’s body from the water overflowing from the boat’s crab tank. Around then, he noticed that Day’s body was going limp.

“He died in my arms. There was no pulse, no breathing,” Webb described.

Deputy Harbormaster Jacob Walding began performing CPR on the docks. Firefighters arriving on the scene used a defibrillator to resuscitate him. Paramedics reportedly revived him a second time while the ambulance was en route to the hospital.

At Seton Medical Center in Daly City, doctors examining Day were worried that the electrical shock could cause permanent brain damage. They gave him powerful sedatives and lowered his temperature to put his body in an induced coma.

Therese Smith, Day’s partner, recalled he was blue and lifeless lying in the intensive care ward. Medical staff warned her that his outlook was not good.

“The physician said he would be surprised if there was higher function in his brain when he came out of the coma,” she said. “The big question was if he could breathe on his own.”

Day was kept comatose for about two days, before doctors gradually reduced the sedatives to see what brain functions came back. They observed some promising signs. His pupils could follow the beam of a flashlight. About 12 hours later, Day began breathing on his own, overpowering the ventilator. By the end of the third day, he was conscious, although still heavily drugged. To the amazement of hospital staff, he had a full recovery.

“He’s nuts,” Smith summarized. “It was another situation where Barry’s army of guardian angels must be getting tired.”

Day was released from the hospital on Nov. 27. One day later, he was back at Pillar Point Harbor returning to work on his crab pots and ready to board his boat again without apprehension.

He’s had a big appetite. Taking a lunch break at Ketch Joanne’s, he scarfed down a steak sandwich, chowder and salad along with several cups of coffee. Next door at the Harbor Bar, the joke was the new drink was Barry on the Rocks with a shot of juice. Every five minutes, a friend or fisherman would drop in, shake Day’s hand, and crack a joke.

“Where’s your afro? How many lives do you have, bro?” one fisherman joked.

For many people who knew him, almost nothing about Day had changed — his sense of humor and energy were the same. He had no signs of injury except for a small gash on his forehead from when he hit the deck in the accident. Between bites of his sandwich, he insisted nothing had changed.

“What would you suggest that I do different? I haven’t had this big spiritual revelation,” he said. “My blessing is the people around here. I should be putting on lipstick and kissing everyone who helped me.”

He can’t remember anything about what he was doing before the electrical accident, but he believes the water pump he was using to cycle water into his crab tank may have shorted. Walking out to the parking lot, he picked up the culprit pump out of the back of his truck, and he pledged he was going to test it before risking another use.

It was not Day’s first close encounter. In October, he was heading home in his boat, the “Fjord Queen,” after a two-day solo fishing trip when he accidentally shipwrecked on the rocks near Pillar Point. Smith and Day were still working to clean up the boat wreckage when the electrical accident occurred.

Earlier this year, Day had another accident on his former boat, the “High Seas.” An old lead battery in the boat’s engine room exploded when he tried to pour more water into it. Pieces of the casing were flung at his face, cutting an artery in his forehead. The accident could have been fatal, but Day was able to get to a hospital in time.

In fact, this latest scrape wasn’t even the first time he had been in a coma. In his younger days, he once was out for days after a bad motorbike crash.

“He’s the luckiest person on Earth, no question,” Smith said.

Story via hmbreview.com