Stolen power could have contributed to Saturday fire on Farlin Avenue

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 18 at 5:20 PM

(KMOV.com) — It’s a danger many residents may not know to look out for, but neighbors stealing electricity can put you and your property at risk.

Firefighters say they see this often; especially when people start getting those first heating bills after a tough winter.

The creative wiring may have been the cause of a weekend fire on Farlin Avenue. 

When firefighters arrived on scene, they found extension cords running along the outside walls into an upstairs room  and down to a downstairs basement.

The fire department doesn’t yet know that this caused the fire, but cords traveling all over the house can certainly complicate the efforts to fight it.

“I turned around and look out the window and there were flames right in my face, so oh my gosh its a fire,“ said Lauryn Brown. Brown and her family live next door, and when she spotted the fire, they all ran outside. 

Rescuers went into the burning house to look for anyone who could be trapped while working to cut off power.

As they attempted to 

When you come around the back of the building and you see an alternative method to powering a house; whether its an extension cord- which in this case, they were powering the house someway with an extension cord,” said St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson. “We’ve seen jumper cables going from house to house. There’s all types of issues that come into play.”

Firefighters say they often see instances of people putting their lives at risk to bypass a meter.

In Saturday’s fire, no one was hurt and firefighters kept the fire from spreading to other homes.

The fire department says it notified Ameren Missouri.

Tuesday The utility company said it won’t comment and it’s not clear if Ameren will investigate any further.

The fire department says it’s a good idea to watch your usage and take the time to check out the outside of your house. Look for any signs of tampering with your meters or outdoor outlets.

 

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