Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

MI: Arc Creates Underground Fire

October 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Troy, MI:  Noise from a large explosion startled residents on Fifth Avenue between Federal and Jacob streets late Thursday afternoon. City of Troy Fire Department officials later said the explosion was caused by an electrical fire underground.

“We were sitting out here talking when we heard a sound like something blew up,” said resident Ida Pryer. “I saw smoke coming out from the sewer but I thought it was coming from the car.”

Another Fifth Avenue resident, Debra, said she saw the manhole cover come up from the ground and land in front of a parked car. She said she immediately called 911 and the Troy Police Department.

Battalion Chief Ray Davis said he was informed by National Grid that the isolated incident began when an arc in a 34,500 volt power line underground caused an electrical fire which forced the manhole cover to be lifted off the ground. The arc shorted out and kept the problem from spreading to other areas.

“It’s unusual in the City of Troy but not so unusual based on the infrastructure of the older cities where some of the electrical lines are older and having issues,” Davis said, adding it is also unusual to see manhole covers flying around.

Davis said the scene would be turned over to National Grid.

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MI: Pirrone President Diers in Electrical Accident

August 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Mussey, MI: Butch DeBlouw, president of Michigan vegetable shipper Mike Pirrone Produce Inc., died Aug. 15. He was 49. DeBlouw was killed in an electrical accident in the company’s packinghouse, said Joe Pirrone, the company’s former owner. DeBlouw, a co-owner of Mussey-based Pirrone since 1988, and his son Henry bought Joe Pirrone’s shares in the company in May. Pirrone remains at the company as a salesman. Henry DeBlouw, who became secretary and treasurer after the sale, has succeeded his father as president, Pirrone said.

Butch DeBlouw, who grew up on a farm near Mount Clemens, Mich., joined Pirrone in 1985. Growing was his specialty, Pirrone said. “The farming arm of our company was his baby, his passion,” Pirrone said. DeBlouw was also “very good on the telephones,” Pirrone said, and he was known for his intensity, whether it was growing and selling vegetables or coaching his kids’ basketball and hockey teams.

“If something needed to happen, he made it happen,” Pirrone said. “He was extremely driven.” DeBlouw also had a way with people that made him a perfect match for the produce industry, Pirrone said. “I told his children, ‘Your father had three sisters and 500 brothers,’” Pirrone said. “At his funeral, there were more than 1,200 people in the church. He’ll be missed, and we’ll continue on and make him proud of us.”

DeBlouw is survived by his wife, Donna; five children; parents Henry and Deanna; and three sisters.

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MI: Electrical Exlposion (arc flash?) Blows Man hole Cover 10 feet in Air

JACKSON, MI: Westwood Mall and surrounding stores were evacuated Thursday night, after electrical lines underneath the mall parking lot caused a series of electrical explosions, according to Blackman- Leoni Township public safety Deputy Director Jon Johnston.  At about 6:11 p.m., officers arrived at the mall, 1850 W. Michigan Ave., in response to a 911 call reporting a possible explosion. Johnston said officials soon determined the cause was electrical, not gas, and called Consumers Energy to the scene.

The explosions were from several electrical lines below the parking lot, which then lofted a manhole cover six to 10 feet into the air at the rear of the mall by JC Penney, Johnston said.  The area was immediately evacuated by Blackman Leoni Public Safety officials, with the help of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Jackson Police Department.

Johnston said the WalMart shopping center had already lost power due to the electrical issues and mall officials made the decision to close early as a precautionary measure.

The cause of the electrical explosions was not immediately known, but crews from Consumers Energy have been called in to investigate the scene and help restore power to the area, Johnston said.  “The scene has been turned over to Consumers Energy but we’ll have a presence on the scene until the area is secure,” he said.  Johnston is unsure when power will be restored to the area, but said generator trucks have been called in to provide electricity to the produce sections of WalMart.

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MI Roofer Survives Electric Shock

Jason Hoffman remembers reading about a cartoon superhero who has special powers that allow him to survive an electric shock.

And now the 31-year-old roofer from Clawson believes it for himself.

On Tuesday, Hoffman was working on a roof in Rochester Hills when the nail gun his roofer friend was holding made contact with an uncovered electrical wire. For about 8 seconds his friend Chris Quinlan had 240 volts of electricity convulsing through his body, until Hoffman was able to kick him free and onto the ground 12 feet below.

Quinlan lived to tell this story.

8 seconds of chaos

Quinlan, of Royal Oak, and a crew of five others had just begun work for the morning on a home on Simpson Drive off Auburn Road in Rochester Hills. He has been working on roofs since he was 16; his dad does windows so this type of work is in his blood.

It was just before 10 a.m. and Quinlan was standing on the back corner of the roof near where the main electrical line attaches to the house. He was starting to install shingles around the pole that feeds the wires through the roof and into the home — “just like I’ve done about 500 times before,” he said — and was talking to his buddy, Jason Hoffman, who was installing shingles about 10 feet away.

“Chris was talking, and then he stopped,” Hoffman said. “I can’t explain the noise that I heard, but it made me look over. I saw him shaking. He had one arm wrapped around the pole. He was foaming at the mouth.

“I saw sparks of light coming out of him. It looked like sparklers. His chest had smoke in front of it.”

Hoffman jumped from where he stood near the chimney to the corner of the roof where Quinlan was stuck around the pole. Hoffman started screaming for help. He kicked his buddy — hard — to try to free him. Hoffman felt an electrical current come through his kicking leg, but Quinlan didn’t budge. Hoffman dropped down onto his back, pulled his knees into his chest and then used all of his force and body weight to try to kick his friend free. All the while he was shouting “Move! Move!”

This time, it worked. Quinlan flipped over the pole and off the roof. He landed on a wooden banister connected to the back deck down below, then rolled off the banister onto the ground.

The whole frantic chain of events took about 8 seconds.

In the meantime, the rest of the crew on the roof was also coming to help. “We were sliding all over because there weren’t any shingles on the roof yet; we had just laid the paper and it was so slippery,” said Matthew Thomas, 28, of Hazel Park.

Thomas jumped to the ground. In the meantime, Hoffman was calling 911 while climbing down a ladder.

“The 911 operator told me not to move him, and then all of a sudden I watched him stand up,” Hoffman said about Quinlan. “He said, ‘I’m OK; I’m OK’ and then walked to the front of the house.”

Several minutes later, crews from the Rochester Hills Fire Department and Oakland County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene. They transported Quinlan to McLaren Hospital in Pontiac.

He called his dad. He called his girlfriend. He was hooked up to a heart monitor and had X-rays. He sent a text message back to his co-workers on the job site to make sure they had covered up the roof in case it rained.

And then he started to cry.

‘I thought I was going to die’

“The doctors asked me if I needed something for the pain and I told them I wasn’t crying because I was in pain,” Quinlan said.

Quinlan remembers most of what happened: He remembers everything going black and then seeing flashes of white light. He remembers trying to move himself but his muscles locking up.

“It seemed like an eternity,” he said.”I thought, ‘This is it.’ I thought I was going to die. The next thing I knew I was on the ground.”

Quinlan said when he got to McLaren, there were a dozen people standing around, waiting. Someone announced, “this is the guy who was struck by electricity” and they all turned and looked.

“They had been waiting for me, but they didn’t expect to see me come in like that,” Quinlan said.

Quinlan left the hospital later Tuesday night without a broken bone or any damage to his heart. He had red burn marks on his arm and on both thighs. He had sore muscles and bruises from the fall.

The next morning, he returned to work.

A happy ending

On Wednesday afternoon, just as Quinlan, Hoffman and their crew were finishing up the roofing job they had started the day before, they reflected on how things happened — and why their buddy was saved.

“Jason and I met at a gas station two years ago,” Quinlan said about Hoffman, the friend who saved his life. “I keep thinking, ‘What if we had never met?’

“That’s just how the world rolls.”

Hoffman said the job wasn’t dangerous and that Quinlan wasn’t at all careless — it was the faulty wires that caused the electrical accident.

“They weren’t supposed to be uncovered like that,” Hoffman said. “That was wrong. That was the electrical company’s fault.” Shortly after the accident, the wires had been covered up with tape.

Quinlan said everything happens for a reason, and he wonders if this has anything to do with it: While he was in the hospital on Tuesday, the staff brought a defribrilator machine into his room, “just in case,” he said.

“The next thing I know, they’re pulling open the sheet from the room next to me and the guy is having a heart attack. They used the defribrilator on the guy and it saved his life.

“So you just never know.”

Story via Rochester Hills Patch

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MI Man Killed in Electrical Accident at Pulverdryer

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

SPRINGFIELD, MI — A Kalamazoo man died this morning due to an apparent electrical accident at the Pulverdryer plant near Battle Creek, according to the Springfield Department of Public Safety.

Police received a call at 10:26 a.m. reporting that an employee at the plant had suffered injuries due to a possible electrical accident, said officer Stephen Herbstreith.

The employee, Aaron Lankford, 31, was taken to Bronson Battle Creek Hospital, where he was declared dead shortly after arrival, according to police.

An autopsy will be conducted Wednesday morning at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing to determine the official cause of death, Herbstreith said.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an official investigation into the cause of the accident, said Adrian Roeskay, a director at MIOSHA.

Pulverdryer is a manufacturer of technology for pulverizing and drying systems based in Springfield, near Battle Creek.

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Man in Michigan Receives Fatal Shock While Tree Trimming

October 27, 2010 1 comment

BOWNE TOWNSHIP, MICHIGAN – Kent County deputies say a worker for a tree trimming service was electrocuted Wednesday near Alto. The accident happened around 7:30 p.m. in the 7900 block of Timpson Ave. SE, near 84th Street in Bowne Township. The man worked for an out-of-state tree service, say deputies. They say he was clearing tree limbs and brush from the property when he grabbed a live electrical wire. Investigators are having difficulty identifying the victim because he works for the out-of-state company, but they say he is a man in his 30’s

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MI Man Suffers Electrical Shock at Hemlock Semiconductor

October 14, 2010 1 comment

SAGINAW COUNTY, MICHIGAN –  A Hemlock Semiconductor employee was transported to a local hospital Thursday morning.

Although officials would not comment on the extent of the injury, communications manager Leslie Orozco did confirm that the employee remains hospitalized after suffering an electrical shock.

Orozco did say that the man is communicating, is alert and is still being observed by medical professionals.

HSC also triggered its on-site sirens following an electrical issue Thursday morning, but says there was no off-site impact to nearby residents.

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AT&T Worker Fatally Electricuted by Electrical Fault in Michigan

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – Kevin James, an AT&T splicing technician and member of CWA Local 4100, was fatally electrocuted April 15 while working on a telephone pole in Detroit. The accident is under investigation by Michigan OSHA.

CWA Occupational Safety and Health Director Dave LeGrande said electrical hazards have been a major concern for his office and local safety activists, who have held workshops and met with employers to work together to reduce risks.  Electrical Accidents continue to be the 5th leading cause of industrial accidents according to OSHA.

A Local 4100 steward is accompanying OSHA investigators as they try to determine what happened. James was on a ladder, belted in, to work on telecom lines hanging at least 15 feet below electrical wires, Wynn said. One of the electrical lines came loose. James was found deceased when a barking dog alerted  its owner that something was wrong.

Story Via Communication Workers of America