The Dangers of Powerlines
By Member Robert Kick
July 21, 2021

This past weekend the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department responded to multiple alarms involving downed electric lines of some kind.

Saturday, July 17th 6:21AM: Crews responded to what first was a report of wires down and burning on Crafts Rd. Within a few minutes the call was upgraded to a vehicle fire next to a structure. Upon arrival, it was quickly upgraded to a working structure fire involving a small barn by first arriving units. Firefighters were unable to make an attack on the structure as the lines were still energized and they posed a threat to anyone in their path. Once power was cut, crews were able to extinguish the blaze with help from mutual aid companies outlined below.

Later in that same day crews responded to a downed powerline on Baldwin Lane. As seen in the pictures, the powerful lines can even damage the street causing deep cuts and indentations in the pavement.

Sunday, July 18th 2:30AM: Responders were aroused for yet another downed powerline next to a vehicle. The pictures below are a great example of how quickly fire can spread. Crews were unable to attack the vehicle due to the downed energized lines and fire quickly spread to a box truck, making it a total loss. Once power was cut to the line, crews extinguished the blaze. There was no damage to the surrounding buildings, only the box truck.

As a reminder never approach on foot or in a vehicle any kind of downed utility lines and alert the 911 system of any lines that may be sparking, burning or obstructing traffic. Please visit the below links and or contact NYSEG with any questions regarding utility safety.

Units: 18-1-1, 18-4-1, 18-4-2, 18-3-1
Mutual Aid: Mahopac Falls Fire Dept, Carmel Fire Dept, Yorktown Heights Volunteer FD, Kent Fire Department, Croton Falls Fire Department, Somers Volunteer Fire Department.
Hyperlinks: NYSEG Safety Tips
NYSEG Safety Myths