Electrical surge causes house fire

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 | 6:48 p.m. CDT; updated 10:44 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

COLUMBIA —Two central Columbia residents, Mareta Hatton and Sergio Turner, awoke to the sound of arcing, popping power lines that led to a fire in their home early Tuesday morning, according to a release from the Columbia Fire Department.

Hatton called 911, and firefighters arrived at 409 N. Providence Road at about 6:30 a.m. and found a small fire by cabinets in the house, according to the release.

Battalion Chief Gary Warren Jr. said in the release that a notebook lying near an electrical junction box caught fire after an electrical surge that had been caused by a tree branch falling on a nearby power line. The branch pulled the line away from the house and caused the arcing.

The firefighters put out the small fire without much damage, Warren said. An early estimate was $5,000, but Warren said the estimate might go down because the major extent of damage was the charred cabinets.

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