North Bay Fire officials are reminding homeowners of safe practices when removing trees around hydro lines.

This after a house fire Wednesday afternoon on Hwy 11 North.

Deputy fire chief Greg Saunders says a tree, that was being taken down, came down on the hydro line, causing the line to come down on the home.

Crews were dispatched around 3:30 pm and Platoon Chief Mike Newman describes what they encountered.

When we arrived on the scene the crew noticed that there was smoke starting to emanate from the roof line of the house. It appeared as though the line had broken inside the mast and a fire started inside the wall of the house and spread up into the attic,” he says.

Newman says the homeowners were in the driveway when they arrived on the scene.

“No one was hurt and the people got their pets out before we arrived,” he says.

Newman says fire was mainly contained to the attic, but crews had to pull ceilings to get access to it.

Damages are roughly estimated around $100,000.

In a release, Saunders says for power lines for which you are responsible, be sure to use the help of qualified arborists only and keep in mind these potentially fatal mistakes:
1. Cutting a branch near a power line. This may bring it too close to the line as it falls and may cause an arc flash that could cause serious injury or death.

2. Cutting down a tree that could fall in the proximity (less than 10 metres) of a power line. Only professional arborists can expertly control which way a tree will fall when cut. Without proper planning and execution, this may cause the tree to fall onto or too close to the line, causing major damage to our equipment and can cause serious injury or death.

3. Electricity always wants to return to ground and it does not care how it gets there – it takes the path of least resistance. Using tools such as ladders or long-handled pruning shears too close to a power line could cause the current to run through the tool and potentially cause serious injury or death.


(File photo by station staff)

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