This call was received as a electrical panel smoking. Upon arrival with nothing showing .We investigated and found a burned electrical panel with the meter can hanging off it’s mount to the rear of 4521 14 ST. W. ECC was advised to contact FPL to have them respond to pull the meter. Upon arrival of FPL lineman he advised that he was going to bypass the meter with the bypass lever. Upon this action taking place the electrical panel grounded out to the meter causing a large arch and the panel catching fire. At this time this officer advised ECC to re tone this as a structure fire. E-211 company then held the fire in check with a dry chemical extinguish until FLP could secure the power. Upon the arrival of engines 231 and 221 they assisted E-211 with evacuating and checking for fire extension in all the businesses from Circuit City South. Once FPL secured the power and no other problems were found Command released engines 231 and 221. E-211 remained on scene along with FLP while the linemen worked to restore power to the effected businesses. Manatee County Building Inspector arrived on scene and halted all work until a licensed contractor could arrive and make the proper repairs. No further action was taken by E-211 at this time.
Lt. Laplante and his crew responded on 211 to an electrical hazard call at Cortez Plaza 4500 14 st. w. His company found an electric meter “can” hanging off its mount on the panel. FPL arrived and while removing the can, it exploded and sent flames out in front. The FPL rep was standing to the side of it when it exploded. Lt. Laplante saw one of his firemen standing in front of the can and told him to move seconds before the can exploded. Lt. Laplante prevented injury to his fireman. The FPL guy knew to stand to one side. The call was upgraded to a strucure fire. No extension.
Moral of the story – NEVER TOUCH ELECTRIC METER CANS!!!! NEVER STAND IN FRONT OF THEM WHEN FPL WORKS ON THEM!!!! NEVER LET ANYONE ELSE TOUCH THEM EXCEPT FPL!!!! CLEAN YOUR PANTS AFTER EVERY CALL!!!!