Squirrel leaves trail of destruction in its wake
Posted: Oct 8, 2008 10:22 AM MDT
Updated: Oct 8, 2008 05:15 PM MDT
Story by: Colleen O'Brien / Internet Content Editor, KXLY.com
SPOKANE -- A squirrel ignited a fiery chain reaction that led to a power line collapse, car fire, natural gas fire and a power outage in northwest Spokane Wednesday morning.
It all started at 8:22 a.m. in the 4900 block of North Hartley at Wellesley when, according to Avista investigators, a squirrel came in contact with a transformer. That single action set in motion a chain of events.
First, the power line burned through causing the line to fall to the ground and come into contact with a metal fence and a car. The car caught on fire.
The fence, meanwhile, was energized by the fallen power line and the electricity was conducted underground to a natural gas pipeline which in turn burned through and started an underground natural gas fire which burned up to two gas meters at nearby houses.
The fire department extinguished the fires while Avista shut off the natural gas pipeline.
Power was restored to the 155 residents in the area near the incident around noon.
The squirrel did not survive the melee.