Illinois Fire Chief Shocked In Flood Waters

As the chief took his first steps inside a flooded house, he was immediately jolted by a strong current of electricity.


Winfield Fire Protection District Chief Philip Dimenza was on the mend today after receiving a serious electrical shock while trying to help a resident out of his flooded home.

Dimenza, a firefighter for 33 years, was called to help out at a home on Mayflower Place Monday night. Upon arriving, he said he was told the homeowner's son was still inside.

Dimenza says he thoroughly checked for water before going inside, noting the water level was several steps below the carpeted landing that lead into the house. But as he took his first steps inside, he was immediately jolted by a strong current of electricity. The next thing he remembers was waking up in an ambulance on his way to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield.

He was released the same evening and is back on the job today. Dimenza hopes his experience will reinforce the dangers of electricity and floodwaters.

He's still at a loss as to how he was shocked, but rising waters in a home can quickly become electrified if they reach an electrical outlet. Dimensa urges homeowners to leave a flooded area until the power can be turned off. He says the message is simple but important.

"People, water and electricity don't mix," he said.

Republished with permission of WBBM.