Homeowners say arcing power lines cause huge fire, explosion

Local

NICHOLS HILLS, Okla. (KFOR) – Homeowners in Nichols Hills say they had a scary night Wednesday after multiple power lines snapped and exploded, causing a tree to catch fire.  

Art Cotton says it was around 4:30 when the power lines exploded.  

“It was scary. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Cotton.

Cotton says he watched as the tree in his yard caught fire and endangered his home.  

“It looks like a warzone or a tornado that saved all the houses and not the trees. We backed the car out a lot of times. We weren’t sure where we we’re gonna go. If it got close to the house, we weren’t messing around,” said Cotton.  

Cotton says he called the Nichols Hills Fire Department, but firefighters weren’t able to put the fire out until OG&E responded to turn the power off.  

“Until OG&E kills that line, they can’t put any water on it. It acts as a conduit and it would electrocute the firemen and kill them,” said Cotton.  

OG&E says it’s swamped, working around the clock with more than 2,600 crews in the field. The company has also called in reinforcements from Ohio, Alabama and Indiana.  

Many homeowners around the state are still waiting.  

“It’s been arcing since about 9 o’clock last night about every five to ten minutes,” said Cotton.  

Cotton said the fire was burning for nearly 15 hours before OG&E crews pulled up to his home.

“There’s OG&E! A little late but we’re glad they’re here. I’m not mad at them by any means, but we’re really glad they’re here,” he said.  

OG&E tells KFOR, “We have restored power to more than 144,000 customers (as of 8.00 a.m.) and currently have more than 2,600 restoration personnel in the field from numerous states working around the clock. We will continue to mobilize additional resources, as needed, to ensure power is restored to our customers as quickly and safely as possible,” said David Kimmel, Sr. Communications Specialist for the company. 

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