Those pesky little squirrels

Discussion in 'Life After Brown' started by Channahon, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. Channahon

    Channahon New Member

    Imagine calling your insurance company on this one!!
    Any other squirrel stories out there? They look so cute and innocent most of the time

    (STNG) BLUE ISLAND, Ill. Alan Turcott used to believe in the saying 'lighting doesn't strike twice,' but that was before his Blue Island home caught fire twice in eight days.

    Squirrels touched off a pair of blazes after knocking high voltage wires loose from a utility pole near Turcott's Walnut Street home, according to Blue Island Fire Chief Robert Copp.

    "This is unbelievable," the veteran firefighter said.

    "I've seen where squirrels have shorted things out or blown a fuse but nothing like this before," he added.

    Metal fragments found in the two scorched squirrels -- one was discovered at the scene of each of the incidents -- have confirmed the hunch that the critters played a role in starting the fires, Copp said.

    It appears the squirrels transferred power from one line to the next as they attempted to bounce across the wires, fire officials said.

    The damaged wires then hit Turcott's house causing the fires, first on June 9 and then again on June 17.

    The cause of the fires also has some ComEd employees shaking their heads in disbelief.

    "It's unusual," spokesman John Dewey said. The utility company is now considering installing wildlife protection equipment in the area.

    Turcott isn't so quick to point the finger at his furry former neighbors though.

    The high voltage lines strung throughout the neighborhood should be able to handle squirrel traffic, he said.

    "If they would have maintained and repaired (the wires) properly, the fires wouldn't have started," he said.

    Since the first fire broke out June 9, the utility company has rehung sections of the wires, spreading them farther apart to deter animals from making the leap from one to another.

    Turcott sees the solution as too little, too late as he attempts to pick up the pieces from a series of explosions and fire that ravaged his belongings.

    "It's like a battlefield around here," he said pointing to his three-story home that's now patched together with plywood boards.

    The house took the brunt of the heat in the first blaze. And two burned out cars that sit next to a burned down fence are reminders of the second fire that occurred June 17.

    "I think it's a total loss," Turcott said of his property. "It's just a big nightmare