Six Houston Firefighters are recovering this morning after being hurt battling a blaze in southeast Houston yesterday. Several of them were shocked by an electrical current running through the home. Fire officials say the firefighters are fortunate they were not killed.
Flames broke out at the small house on Pederson and Coffee Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t a huge inferno, but in the end, just as dangerous.
“It should have been just a routine house fire, but like I said, there’s nothing routine about anything,” said Houston Fire Department Commander Chief C. Chavez.
The problem is there was still power running to the house that was being doused with water to control the flames. Even though firefighters had turned the electricity off at the breaker box, they went in. Duct work from the attic fell on them, along with electrical wiring. It was still carrying power and four firefighters were entangled in it for two minutes, unable to escape a live current.
“That’s what was getting them, that wiring was around them,” said HFD District Chief Tommy Dowdy. “A firefighters coming in the back said he saw them laying on the floor. They were just trying to get untangled so the more they worked, the more they got tangled and the more they got shocked. “
The firefighters who helped them were shocked as well.
In the end, there were six injuries. Five were shocked and a captain suffered an injured rib. CenterPoint Energy cut power to the house from the pole.
The house had no ground wire. The saving grace, we’re told, was that the current was about 100 volts.