Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Texas: Two-Alarm Blaze From Electrical Issues

February 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Harris County, TX: Firefighters determined electrical issues caused a blaze that ripped through a strip center Tuesday morning in north Harris County.

The two-alarm blaze broke out about 5 a.m. at the Quick Check Grocery Store at 1000 Aldine Bender near the Hardy Toll Road, according to Harris County fire officials.

Officials said the flames quickly spread to adjacent businesses. The intensity of the blaze forced firefighters into a defensive approach to the battle the flames.

No injuries have been reported, officials said.

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TX: Hospital Moves 70 Patients after Electrical Fire

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

EL PASO, Texas:  More than 100 patients have been moved to other hospitals after an electrical fire damaged the Sierra Medical Center’s electrical room, fire officials said.  It happened just before 3 p.m Wednesday.

El Paso fire department spokesperson George DeLaTorre said the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction, which forced the hospital to run on generator power.  The hospital transferred  approximately 37 patients who were considered critical to area hospitals within the Sierra Providence Network, hospital officials said.  One woman was reportedly transported to another hospital immediately because she was in labor.

Philomena Wilkinson, a patient at the hospital, was in the cafeteria when the fire started.  “Billows of smoke coming out, just billowing out,” said Wilkinson.  Within 20 minutes, firefighters were able put out the fire and contain it to the electrical room, fire officials said.  DeLaTorre said electrical engineers worked to restore power to the hospital but were not successful due to the extensive fire damage.

The hospital staff decided to transfer all remaining patients to other hospitals before back-up generators failed.  A total of 70 patients were then transported to other hospitals, DeLaTorre said.  This morning, Wilkinson is at another hospital recovering from surgery.  “They helped me to evacuate too, ’cause obviously I had surgery on my leg,” said Wilkinson.  DeLaTorre said 21 units responded, as well as eight ambulances and eight private ambulances.  As of 10:45 a.m. Thursday, the hospital has reopened, officials said. The Sierra Providence Health Network released the following statement about Wednesday’s fire:

“This afternoon, an electrical surge caused a small fire in the basement of the hospital. The fire department quickly extinguished it, but the hospital was unable to regain power to some areas of the hospital. We have evacuated some patients to our sister hospitals, Providence Memorial Hospital and Sierra Providence East Medical Center. The fire department and local power company are on-site working with us to restore full power. The emergency room is on diversion for EMS and we will let everyone know when our electricity is fully restored. We take the health and safety or our patients, employees and visitors very seriously. We routinely practice for situations like this to ensure that we’re able to respond quickly and appropriately.”

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TX: Big Tex BBQ’d from Electrical Fire

October 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Dallas, TX: Big Tex, the beloved 52-foot-tall cowboy who’s watched over the State Fair of Texas for decades, caught on fire Friday morning and was quickly burnt to a crisp.  He was 60.

Big Tex is toast. The tallest talking Texan will no longer say “Hoooowwwdeee, fooolllllks!” at this year’s fair, which ends Sunday. But State Fair officials say the icon will be rebuilt in time for next year.

Hundreds gathered in Big Tex Circle to watch the big guy go up in flames. Many stood in tears. Others snapped pictures with their smartphones, spreading the news online as quickly as the fire spread up Big Tex. They reminisced about the good-lookin’ folksy fair mascot who first arrived at Fair Park in 1952.

No one was injured.  State Fair officials say the electrical fire was caused by an electrical short that started in his right boot. Flames and smoke shot up his body, which acted as a chimney, said Sue Gooding, a State Fair spokeswoman.

Gooding happened to walk by Big Tex when the fire started around 10:15 a.m. She spotted white smoke emerging from his collar.

“I didn’t know Big Tex smoked,” a fairgoer was overheard saying.

He doesn’t. Firefighters were sent to Fair Park by an unusual report from a Dallas Fire-Rescue dispatcher over the radio: “Got a rather tall cowboy with all his clothes burned off.”

“Big Tex was done in about 10 minutes,” said Allen Ferrell, who was visiting the fair with a church group from North Richland Hills.

The fire consumed Big Tex’s 75-gallon hat. It ate off his fiberglass face, which once flashed perfectly straight teeth. It burned through his boots, his five-pocket denim jeans and his 23-foot-long belt.

All that remained were his charred three-ton steel skeleton and his hands, sleeves, belt buckle and bits of burnt clothing.

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TX: Diner Shut down from Electrical Fire

October 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Coprus Christie, TX:  The popular City Diner on the 700 block of Water Street downtown was evacuated Wednesday night after an electrical panel on the outside of the building ignited and electrical fire.

The flames were put out in a matter of minutes, but it will be a while before the restaurant reopens.

An employee noticed the flames and told the owner, whose first reaction was to get everyone out of the building.

“As I was walking, the breaker was flickering and I started turning off the breakers, and I heard a sound like fire crackers,” City Diner owner Sofie said.

The sparks spread through the power lines, which are underground, so the employees said smoke was literally coming up from underneath the sidewalks. Before fire crews got there, a couple of employees grabbed fire extinguishers to try and stop the blaze from spreading.

Once the fire department arrived, it was out in a matter of minutes.

Because it is a concrete building, the flames didn’t penetrate through the walls, so nothing was damaged inside.

“They will have to shut down the bus, probably be closed for a while,” Battalion Chief Jackie Burrows of the Corpus Christi Fire Department said. “They’re going to have to replace the electric panel and lines underneath the street here.”

Fire officials said the owner is very lucky, especially considering the gas line is right next to the electrical panel. The good news is they do have insurance and once the necessary repairs are made, the owner said she will let us know when they reopen.

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TX: SeaWorld Electrician Electrocuted

August 29, 2012 Leave a comment

San Antonio, TX:  A SeaWorld San Antonio employee has died after apparently being accidentally shocked while working on a heating and air conditioning unit. Police say 49-year-old Ricardo Corpus died in the rooftop accident.

Officer Matt Porter says another employee heard a sound and saw smoke from the area where Corpus had been working. SeaWorld issued a statement of condolences following Saturday’s incident in an employee area. Park officials say no guests or animals were involved.

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TX: Church Fire casued by Electrical Arching

August 9, 2012 Leave a comment
Odessa, TX:  Investigators with Odessa Fire/Rescue have determined the cause of the St. James Baptist fire was caused by an electrical malfunction.  Fire Marshal Detra White said investigators found signs of electrical arching in the area considered the attic, which was a small space between the original tar and gravel roof and newer pitched roof.  “The fire, once it started in that attic, had old wood from the structure and tar from the roof and gravel from the roof that were excellent fuels,” White said. “We had just enough wind to provide oxygen and it was almost like the perfect storm.

Because the fire involved a church, investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were required to investigate as stated by a federal mandate, White said.

Story via OA online

TX: 3-Alarm Electrical Fire at Supply Pro warehouse

Houston, TX: A firefighter was treated for apparent heat exhaustion from a three-alarm warehouse blaze in east Houston.

The electrical fire broke out about 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Supply Pro, a company that makes oil spill cleanup products in a building along Hahlo and Old Clinton Drive. All the employees were safe and accounted for, HFD officials said.

More than 100 firefighters fought the blaze. Thick clouds of black smoke could be seen for several miles in any direction.

HFD officials instituted a five-mile radius shelter in place order around the warehouse for several hours, eventually reducing it to the immediate vicinity.

“We are monitoring the air and water at this time,” said HFD Capt. Ruy Lozano.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality also sent a team to the scene.

HFD arson officers are conducting an investigation of the blaze. A firefighter at the scene said it may have been started by an electrical wire falling on a bale of cotton.

Fire department officials said the warehouse contained a large quantity of polypropylene, often used in making plastic products.

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TX Tree Trimmer Electrocuted

FORT WORTH, TX – A tree trimmer in Fort Worth was killed Monday morning.

The man was apparently working at a home on Warren Lane when he was electrocuted.

Fort Worth Fire Department spokesman Tim Hardeman said when rescuers arrived they, “Found a male who appears to be deceased, in a tree. Apparently he was trimming trees at a residence here and came in contact with some power lines.”

Though fire department personnel were on the scene in minutes they couldn’t immediately get up in the tree to the body of Jose Murcia of Arlington.

“Nothing we can do until they cut the power, at this time,” Hardeman said. “So, they are on scene and we should be able to get him down here shortly.”

The 31-year-old victim had a co-worker with him at the time of the accident. The co-worker was the individual who placed the 911 call.

Story via CBS Fort Worth

Utility Worker Electrocuted in TX

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Flower Mound, Texas – A utility worker was fatally electrocuted Monday while working in Double Oak. [ Bloggers note:  “fatally electrocuted” is redundant and the work “electrocuted” is often misused by the media.  If a person has been electrocuted, they have been killed by electrical shock.]

Police said that Jacob Lee Willis, 32, of Waxahachie, TX was working with Southern Electric Corporation on a power pole replacement crew in the 100 blk. of Meadow Knoll Rd. when an energized power cable touched the metal boom of the lift he was standing beside.

Upon arrival, Double Oak Police Officer Michael Huffman went to the backyard and observed Willis on the ground receiving CPR. 

The Argyle Fire Department responded, provided medical treatment and transported Willis to Presbyterian Hospital in Flower Mound where he was pronounced dead.

An investigation into the official cause of death by the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office is ongoing.

2 TX Boys Shocked by Downed Oncor Electrical Power Line

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TEXAS – Two boys were shocked in North Richland Hills Saturday after they mistook a downed electrical power line for a tree limb and grabbed it from a flooded culvert.

Earlier that afternoon, North Richland Hills resident Darlene Rushing said she could hear the rain pounding outside while her 14-year-old grandson Austin Stewart played with an 11-year-old friend and several other kids.

“The storm came in that day really fast,” she said.

The group spotted a basketball in a culvert in the 6400 block of Jerrell Street and jumped in to get it.

Rushing says the younger boy slipped on some mud. She said he struggled in the rushing water and grabbed what he thought was a tree limb.

“He saw his friend in trouble ran over to grab him and grabbed the electrical wire himself not knowing it was a live wire,” Rushing said.

The two were shocked; Austin mistakenly grabbed a live Oncor power line.

James Evans, 12, was walking home when he heard the boys’ cries for help.

“I took off my shoes and ran over there,” Evans said. “I grabbed on one of them the other let go and came down on my leg.”

Evans said two men arrived seconds later and helped him pull the boys from the culvert. Other helpers began CPR.

Danny Roy Duckworth started working on Stewart.

“They handed them to us over the fence and we laid them down,” Duckworth said. “I started to work on his chest; I was hoping water would come up or something.”

About that time, James’ father arrived and also helped.

“I started getting on James, but before I knew what happened,” John Evans said. “I said, ‘what are you doing down here? What are you doing playing?’ He said, ‘no, I was helping I was helping.'”

Stewart is talking and doing much better. His friend, whose mother didn’t want his name released, is in critical condition.

A spokesperson with Oncor said they believe the rain and wind snapped the power line. They’ve repaired the line and are investigating what happened.

“The water was going really fast,” Evans said. “If I wasn’t there they probably wouldn’t have made it.”

James’ parents say they know he risked his life to help and they’re proud of him.

“He is very brave! Very courageous,” John Evans said.

Rushing said it frustrates her that there are no warning signs around the culvert, and the fence doesn’t go all the way around.

“There should be signs. There should be no openings on the side. There is no reason for it,” says Rushing.

North Richland Hills officials said the culvert is controlled by the city and maintained on a regular basis.

The city is looking into why there are no safety signs. Officials couldn’t explain the gaps in the fence, but said there would be no way to keep those who want to get into the culvert out of it.

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