Wires Ignite Several Autos in Chicago

At about 0900 on March 5, 2004, 11th Battalion members were confronted with an unusual and dangerous situation. A high voltage power line came down during a wind storm and landed on a group of autos parked at a service station.

The high voltage arcing soon had three autos heavily involved in fire. Arriving units were able to relocate a few more autos preventing further spread of the fire. The constant high voltage arcs kept members from extinguishing the burning cars for about 30 to 40 minutes.

The ComEd crew arrived and by disconnecting several circuits and placing a ground was able to isolate the area and members were able to complete extinguishment. This incident presented many classic electrical dangers on the fireground and illustrate that not all wires down calls are routine.