Firemen respond to Normanna house fire, utility pole blazes
Feb 18, 2009 | 1352 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fire Marshal Ken Orrell, right, confers with firefighters at the scene of a house fire on Colony Road near Normanna Friday morning. Normanna firefighters were able to prevent serious damage. Beeville firemen helped douse the blaze. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
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Beeville firemen rushed to the scene of a house fire on Colony Road just east of Normanna Friday morning.

A wall and part of a ceiling had caught fire on a small home not far from Normanna, apparently just inside a doorway onto a porch area being built on the north and east sides of the home.

Firemen received the call at 8:33 a.m. and responded automatically, as they always do in all situations when fires are reported within the county.

Fire Chief Donald C. Morris said the Normanna Volunteer Fire Department had the situation under control when Beeville fire trucks arrived but firemen from here helped clean up the scene and assist as Fire Marshal Ken Orrell tried to determine the cause of the blaze.

Morris said Orrell figured an electrical short in the wall next to the door on the east side of the structure had caused the blaze.

Fortunately, several other homes were in the immediate area and neighbors saw the flames in time to get firemen there in minutes.

Morris later reported that 14 local firemen were at the scene.

Damp air following dry, dusty conditions was being blamed for two utility pole fires Tuesday. Morris said the first fire was reported at 9:08 a.m. at West Powell and North Live Oak streets after neighbors found an American Electric Power pole burning.

The second utility pole fire was reported at 1:08 p.m. after workers on Fish Lane in the northeast corner of town smelled smoke.

At first the workers were unable to find the source of the smoke but after the top portion of a pole burned through, cross beams and electrical lines fell onto guy wires and other lines causing power to fail at some buildings and residences in the area.

At that point, area residents were able to identify the source of the problem and firemen were called to the scene.

Morris has explained before that damp air following dry, dusty weather and high winds makes for ideal utility pole fire conditions.

He said when dust that builds up between the electrical lines becomes wet it allows electricity to arc into bolts that hold the cross beams in place. The bolts become red hot and eventually burn through the vertical pole.

Firemen are unable to extinguish such fires until electrical workers are on the scene and have cut off the flow of electricity.

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