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Meter Fire #117735
07/06/04 06:52 AM
07/06/04 06:52 AM
electure  Offline
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,264
Fullerton, CA USA
This fascinated me. I thought the group might enjoy it.

A tree branch took out a service drop, pulling the riser and the trough off the building. Aluminum siding!!!

It’s a 200A 3-Ø Commercial service with 3/0 cu. Steel raceway to the weather head, the trough is pulled off and it is visible hanging over the Gas Meter and Vent. The fire dept shut down a two lane state highway. And stood back until the utility arrived.

The Fire Dept reported that the service arced bright blue on the ground for 20-30 minutes waiting for the utility to cut the lines. The transformers were a 3-Ø pole mounted bank less than 200 feet (of wire) away.

Charlie Palmieri

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

You can see the burn where the pipe and riser conductors laid on the ground. There is approximately 10 feet missing (it incinerated) The Fire fighters said that steel will relax when it’s temperature reaches near 1500F. I do not know what the available short circuit current was. I had to leave for vacation the day after the incident.


Tools for Electricians:
Re: Meter Fire #117736
07/06/04 08:37 PM
07/06/04 08:37 PM
electricman2  Offline
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 269
Thomasville, NC USA
I dont even want to think about what would have happened had that gas equipment went. [Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Re: Meter Fire #117737
07/06/04 08:37 PM
07/06/04 08:37 PM
ComputerWizKid  Offline
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 119
Connecticut, USA
They are very lucky that when it fell it did not take out that gas meter. or they would have had a bigger fire, Maybe even the whole house

Theres always enough room in the junction box.You just need a bigger hammer
Re: Meter Fire #117738
07/06/04 09:24 PM
07/06/04 09:24 PM
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Speculation, of course, but service riser turned to lawn fertilizer may have been from a primary-to-secondary fault in the transformer.

Peeling of the raceway from the building probably saved a “structure
fully involved” report.

[This message has been edited by Bjarney (edited 07-06-2004).]

Re: Meter Fire #117739
07/06/04 09:43 PM
07/06/04 09:43 PM
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
Yikes what a mess. By the way, Is this the same Charlie Palmieri that is an excellent code instructor here in Mass?

Re: Meter Fire #117740
07/06/04 09:55 PM
07/06/04 09:55 PM
Lostazhell  Offline
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,431
Bakersfield, CA (Originally Or...
Curious about something here... Was the gas service bonded to the EGC? (Or formerly when the panel was actually in place?) This looks like a house, with a 3 phase service? Something you don't see here everyday... People that live here have someone watching over them!


Re: Meter Fire #117741
07/06/04 11:31 PM
07/06/04 11:31 PM
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
service riser turned to lawn fertilizer may have been from a primary-to-secondary fault in the transformer.

I figure first short in riser, then another short in transformer. But is it good for the lawn?

(Sorry, I couldn't resist, I'm sure this scared the people there out of thier minds! They are lucky!)

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Re: Meter Fire #117742
07/07/04 06:52 PM
07/07/04 06:52 PM
cpal  Offline
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 162
Cohasset MA
The occupancy was a commercial motel. The fire department was extremely concerned that the entire area was in peril if the gas touched off. They blocked off a stat highway until the utility was cut, and maintained a considerable distance.

Re: Meter Fire #117743
09/14/06 11:37 PM
09/14/06 11:37 PM
mxslick  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 803
Atomic City, ID USA
Bumping this up..facinating example of utility fault current damage!

Stupid should be painful.
Re: Meter Fire #117744
09/15/06 12:59 AM
09/15/06 12:59 AM
napervillesoundtech  Offline
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 144
Naperville, IL, USA
Show this to anyone who douts the power of electricity. Imagine being on the other side of the wall. It also reinforces the point about having proper distance between utilities. This could have been soo much worse if that gas meter was in a worser spot.

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