PECO repairman burned
Thursday, January 10, 2002
A PECO Energy Co. repairman was burned yesterday as he checked a malfunctioning electric meter outside a commercial building on Biles Island in Falls. Steve Schrader, 36, was burned when a "flash fire" erupted about 8 a.m. after he removed the meter's glass cover, PECO spokesman Michael Wood said. The fire caused second-degree burns on Schrader's cheeks and left ear. A piece of flying metal left a third-degree burn on his face, Wood said. Physicians at Capital Health Systems' Fuld Campus in Trenton told PECO that Schrader wouldn't need plastic surgery. He was expected to stay the night at the hospital and be released today, Wood said. Schrader, a PECO energy technician since 1995, was wearing safety goggles, a hard hat and fire-resistant clothing - the standard gear for field workers, Wood said. He added that the gear most likely prevented Schrader from being more severely burned.
Schrader was following up on a complaint of a damaged meter at the Penn Warner Group, a building on Biles Island, Wood said. The Penn Warner Group is a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc., which owns the island, WMI spokeswoman Judy Archibald said. The problem was caused by a circuit board owned by Penn Warner Group. As a precaution, PECO shut power to the building, Wood said. Most of Biles Island's 467 acres are mined by the Penn Warner Group for the stone and gravel used to bury trash at WMI's landfills in Falls and Tullytown. About 41 acres of the island's northern tip have been designated a wildlife preserve, Archibald said.

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