Downed Power Line Sparks House Fires

Oncor promises to cover repairs for affected homeowners

By Kevin Cokely
|  Monday, Dec 7, 2009  |  Updated 8:44 PM CDT
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Oncor Pledges to Cover Repairs in House Fires

NBCDFW.com

One home was gutted, and seven others were damaged by flames that were sparked by a downed power line this weekend in South Arlington.

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Oncor Pledges to Cover Repairs in House Fires

Oncor says it will cover expenses for those affected by a fire sparked by a power line.
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One home was gutted, and seven others were damaged by flames that were sparked by a downed power line this weekend in south Arlington.

Oncor Electric Delivery said it will cover out-of-pocket living and repair expenses for the people displaced by the fire.

Brooke Montgomery, a single mother of two, said she still can't believe her home of five years was gutted by a raging fire caused by a high-voltage power line. She rushed her children outside after the thick power line snapped off the transmission tower behind her home and landed on the roof.

"I don't feel safe next to them. No, not anymore" she said.

Seven other homes were also damaged by the wire and caught fire, suffering minor damage.

The transmission tower is 75 feet from homes in the 800 block of Ponselle Drive, the proper distance. But residents said another power line snapped off and hit their homes several years ago.

"It's kind of like kicking the punt at the Cowboys Stadium. Did they really test it far enough?" said Michael Walling, whose home was among those damaged.

Oncor said it will pay for any out-of-pocket expenses to repair the homes which is not covered by insurance.

"We're helping them find a place to stay; anything that we can do to help them," said Oncor spokeswoman Jeamy Molina.

The affected homeowners are now consulting attorneys and state Rep. Chris Turner.

"I have a lot of concerns about how this happened in the first place and what steps we're going to take to make sure nothing like this happens again," Turner said.

Turner promised to follow up with both Oncor and the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

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