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IL: Bailey House Restaurant Gutted in Electrical Fire

October 30, 2012 Leave a comment

CAMP POINT, ILL. – An Illinois State Fire Marshal says an electrical malfunction caused an electrical fire that gutted the Bailey House Restaurant in Camp Point Sunday.

The newly renovated restaurant is the site of the century-old Bailey’s Opera House in town. Owners Ted and Sara Lung had just opened for business Aug. 31.

“We went through a 4 month renovation. Everything’s brand spanking new,” Ted Lung said

Lung said an employee, arriving on scene, noticed the flames and immediately called for help. It took about 8 minutes for the first fire crews to arrive.

“On a usual Sunday, we’d be seeing more than 300 people come through these doors,” Lung said. Instead, he welcomed in dozens of firefighters.

Four fire departments responded to the scene of heavy smoke coming from the rear of the building around 6:30 a.m. Sunday. Upon arrival, crews discovered four to five foot flames in the kitchen. The fire spread into the ceiling of the kitchen and into the stage area on the second floor.

“It looks like a bomb went off in the kitchen,” Lung said. He’s thankful no one was injured in the fire.

In all, 40 firefighters from Camp Point, Central Adams, Clayton and Quincy fire departments worked to contain the fire.

“We just really appreciate your prayers and support during this time of rebuilding and renovation. But we’re going to come back with a grand reopening and be bigger and better,” Lung said.

Lung says the fire displaced 26 employees from the restaurant and 10 others from the neighboring business ArgriLogic Insurance Services. Bailey House staff spent Sunday morning relocating what they could salvage into a building across the street. Lung says they’ll meet there Monday morning at 6 o’clock for their first staff meeting after the fire. “We’ll regroup” and begin to rebuild, Lung said.

Insurance will cover the rebuild.

“We’re not going anywhere,” Lung said.

Story via connecttristates.com

IL: More SMART Meter Fires

September 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Illinois:  In June 2010, Shirley Bayliff was sitting at the piano in her suburban Illinois home, giving music lessons to a student, when she heard a “pop” outside the house before the power went out.  When she and her husband looked out the window, they saw five-foot flames shooting out from a new General Electric smart meter their utility company had installed as part of a pilot project. “Very, very scary,” she told Crain’s Chicago Business newspaper.

Apparently Bayliff isn’t the only who got a surprise from her smart meter.  Since then, two more of the 130,000 smart meters Commonwealth Edison installed in the area have burst into elecetric fires, one in 2011 and one this last July, according to the newspaper.

ComEd recently disclosed the fires, as well as information about 15 other overheating incidents that caused damage to smart meters, only after another utility in Philadelphia, Peco Energy, decided to suspend installation of smart meters there following a fire in a home and a dozen incidents involving overheating smart meters.

 

In the Philadelphia case, a neighbor called the fire department on a Sunday morning after hearing a pop and seeing sparks and flames shooting out from the meter of another house.

Overheating problems with smart meters have also been reported in Maryland by Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. All three utility companies are owned by the Exelon Corp, based in Illinois.

ComEd described the incidents in Illinois as “small fires.” But Bayliff, whose meter caught fire just 71 days after ComEd installed it, says the flames would have burned down her house if the meter hadn’t been installed on a brick wall.

“We saw huge flames,” Bayliff told the newspaper. “Luckily, there wasn’t much damage because (the house) was brick … When the firemen arrived, the lieutenant said if we lived in a wood house they’d be ripping off the shingles and hosing down the attic right now.”

ComEd denied the fire was caused by the meter and blamed the combustion on faulty house wiring where the meter was installed, which the company said was Bayliff’s problem. ComEd said faulty wiring was behind a second fire as well. The third reported fire is still under investigation.

The utility refused to pay the $2,900 in damages to Bayliff’s house – which included a melted window screen and the cost of replacing the wiring – but relented after Bayliff threatened to make it a public safety issue.

“Once I got their attention, they were very accommodating,” she told the paper.

Story via wired.com

2 Firefighters Receive Electrical Shock Fighting Fire in IL

October 27, 2010 1 comment

LISLE, ILLINOIS - Two Lisle firefighters were slightly hurt when they came into contact with an electrical source while putting out a house fire.

The fire broke out around 8 p.m. Tuesday at 4816 Yackley Ave. in Lisle, according to Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District firefighters.

Dispatch reports indicate the fire was at a house and people may have been trapped inside, and two firefighters came into contact with an electrical source and suffered shocks.

Paramedics examined the firefighters after the blaze was extinguished.

Lisle Mayor Joe Broda said he had not been informed of any fatalities or serious injuries to residents or firefighters.

Messages left with the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District and Lisle police were not immediately returned.

Story via chicago.cbslocal.com

OSHA fines Bedford USPS Center $210K for Electrical Safety Violations

BEDFORD PARK, ILLINOIS - The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the U.S. Postal Service with three alleged willful violations at its Bedford Park, Ill., processing center. The Postal Service faces a total of $210,000 in fines, for electrical and protective equipment hazards, following an OSHA inspection conducted in response to employee complaints.

OSHA’s inspection, which began in November 2009, found that the Postal Service failed to provide required electrical safety training for its workers; to ensure workers used safety-related work practices while working on electrical equipment; and to provide workers with appropriate personal protective equipment while working on energized equipment. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

“These sizable fines reflect the severity and ongoing nature of these hazards,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. “The Postal Service ignored long-established safety standards and knowingly put its workers in harm’s way.”

Within the past five years, OSHA has conducted more than 900 inspections at USPS facilities across the country and has issued more than 600 citations. The Bedford Park location has more than 800 employees and has received several OSHA citations during the past four years.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. This inspection was conducted by OSHA’s Calumet City Area Office; telephone 708-891-3800.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to assure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit OSHA .

Story Via Postal News Blog

IL Electrical Power Worker Found Dead at Substation

April 24, 2010 Leave a comment

BEDFORD PARK, ILComEd and Exelon officials are investigating an accident near a substation in Bedford Park that left an employee dead this afternoon.  It is unknown if the cause was an electrical accident.

A man in his 50s was pronounced dead at the scene of the work-related accident at 4:29 p.m. on the 5700 block of West 73rd Street in Bedford Park, according to a spokesman with the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

ComEd Spokesman Jeff Burdick said the man was employed by Exelon, the parent company of ComEd, but he refused to give any details about the man or his job description pending notification of the man’s family.

The man was found by another employee outside of the substation, Burdick said. He said officials are launching an investigation into the accident.

Story Via Chicago Tribune

$3 Million Settlement for Electric Shock Injury

March 22, 2010 Leave a comment

OAK PARK, IL -  Timothy J. Cavanagh and Matthew M. Rundio of Cavanagh Law Group obtained a settlement of $3 million on behalf of their client, Carmen Shafer, for injuries she sustained after receiving an electric shock from the microwave oven in her kitchen.

On November 5, 2002, Plaintiff Carmen Shafer, age 30, received an electric shock when she brushed her right hand across the surface of the microwave in her kitchen at 1123 W. Washington St., Oak Park, Illinois. A post-incident inspection by the Village of Oak Park Electrical Inspector and a private electrician revealed that the electrical outlet to which the microwave was plugged in violated the village electric code because the hot and neutral poles were reversed, the outlet was not connected properly, and the outlet was not grounded. Experts agreed that the faulty outlet was the cause of the surface of the microwave oven becoming energized with electricity which caused Shafer’s shock.

via $3 Million Settlement for Electric Shock Injury – Chicago Injury Lawyers Blog.

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