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Another fatality stealing wire #165722
07/04/07 09:02 AM
07/04/07 09:02 AM
Jim M  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 457
Chestertown, MD, USA
This was in the area about an hour away from me. Makes it hard to tell the 9 kids why Dad won't be coming home.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: Jim M] #165728
07/04/07 12:16 PM
07/04/07 12:16 PM
JValdes  Offline
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 301
South Carolina
Sad story. But I am not going to bash the dead man as I do not know what his intentions were. Maybe the family had no food. 9 kids?
I lost all of my hair over 4 daughters.
I hope more people would realize the danger involved in this type of activity.

I read an article about someone cutting down a utility pole (with a tree saw) in search of wire. I guess he didn't realize that the wires were not copper. Or are they copper clad?

Last edited by JValdes; 07/04/07 12:19 PM.
Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: JValdes] #165730
07/04/07 01:50 PM
07/04/07 01:50 PM
Retired_Helper  Offline
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 165
Why do long-vacated buildings still have live electrical service? Is it a lack of POCO personnel, or they don't want to go to the expense? With the rise in scrap value for copper (among other metals!), this is going to keep happening. If the person was trespassing, does that prevent his family from bringing suit against the property owner? Can we really blame the property owner?

What was it somebody said about progression without progress? frown

Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: Retired_Helper] #165741
07/04/07 02:37 PM
07/04/07 02:37 PM
mxslick  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 803
Atomic City, ID USA
Why do long-vacated buildings still have live electrical service? Is it a lack of POCO personnel, or they don't want to go to the expense?

Or is more specifically that the previous owner/tenant never notified the POCO that they were vacating the building?

I would think the POCO would have an interest in disconnecting vacant buildings, especially large ones. Any idle step-down transformers in the building will present a continuous load that the POCO isn't getting paid for.

Stupid should be painful.
Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: mxslick] #165745
07/04/07 03:13 PM
07/04/07 03:13 PM
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Points made ... Now for the 'counter-point.':

If I had to guess ..... the PoCo had disconnected at the meter, and this guy had worked his way to the metering compartment.

Or, it is also possible that power was kept 'on' by the property management company, so as to provide a light for security. Remember, no one ever knows how long the building will be vacant .... and, in the meantime, there will be potential tenants who wish to see the place.

I see no fault on the part od the PoCo. Remember, this "victim" forced his way in so he could steal ... that's burglary, a felony in every state. Then, his efforts would likely have left an unsafe situation for whoever next entered the place - maybe electrocuting them. Some Father figure.

There is only so much you can do to protect folks from their own stupidity. I once saw the results when two guys decided to recycle bricks, from a vacant plant. They started on the ground floor. I was there the day after they were dug out. Darwin strikes again.

I also once spoke to a woman whose son had decided to recycle the 'excess' copper from a PoCo substation. OOPS.

Civilization left the "hunter and gatherer" model millennia ago. It was but a memory, even in Biblical times. It's time we recognized these Neanderthal throw-backs for the danger they pose .... rather than for the sympathy they can inspire.

Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: renosteinke] #165747
07/04/07 05:19 PM
07/04/07 05:19 PM
LK  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
New Jersey
The buildings usually are required to maintain power, to supply fire pumps, and other safety equipment.
"Maybe the family had no food. 9 kids?"

There is always a way to get help, if a family needed food, theft is not one of them.

Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: LK] #165790
07/05/07 03:16 PM
07/05/07 03:16 PM
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
I don't approve of stealing but I find it classless to speak ill of the dead.

No matter what the reason for this persons death his family likely loved him and will miss him.

I fully understand it was his own bad choices that caused his death.

However us condemning him for it after he was killed seems uncalled for and pointless.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: iwire] #165791
07/05/07 03:47 PM
07/05/07 03:47 PM
Ann Brush  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 152
In Ohio buildings usually need heat even if vacant - so electrical service is never disconnected. There are numerous reasons a vacant building would require power:
Fire protection
Safety lighting
Cooling (even to some minimal level)
Elevator operation
Alarm system
Sump pumps / water inundation prevention

Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: Jim M] #165798
07/05/07 05:50 PM
07/05/07 05:50 PM
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
A woman and her dog were in the building at the time of the fire and were rescued by an electrical contracting crew working nearby with a bucket lift, said Mirian Saez, director of island operations for the Treasure Island Development Authority. Saez said local youth, copper thieves and homeless people looking for shelter often break into the buildings and cause fire hazards.

Full story

Was told (Rumor) that one of these fires had a partially dissasembled 480 service. Either way, one would figure that word would get around the street that one could die doing such things. (FYI they have only recently installed metering on only the occupied residential building on this former military base.)

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: e57] #165802
07/05/07 09:36 PM
07/05/07 09:36 PM
gfretwell  Online Content

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,338
That is very magnamous Bob but some of us don't feel so bad about this guy. My neighbor (who owns a core drilling company) is ready to shoot the guys who keep stealing his equipment. Certainly we have to assume he is concerned about the 5 figure bill everytime he has to restock his trucks with diamond tools and such but you should be concerned about the dozens of kids who are not getting fed because daddy couldn't work today when he sends home the crews.

Greg Fretwell
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